“The Critic, Volume 7-Volume 10” edited by Jeannette Leonard Gilder, Joseph Benson Gilde, April 30, 1887, Number 174, page 219, not illustrated
THE FINE ARTS
The Society of American Artists.
The ninth exhibition of the Society of American Artists, which opened on Monday, presents a very satisfactory collection of pictures by many of the strongest men of the younger American school. The portraits are particularly good. Dennis M. Bunker shows a large portrait of a young woman in black against a rather dark background. Some roses are well used as accessories. The theme and composition are simple, even to monotony, but the treatment is so subtle and artistic that the picture grains in interest with every glance. Wyatt Eaton’s portrait of a lady in ruby velvet has beautiful flesh-painting and is decoratively effective. The head is treated in a manner of great distinction. Robert B. Brandagee’s portrait of a gentleman is painted with strength and delicacy, and presents a fine type in an adequate manner. William M. Chase has two large portraits, one of a very young girl in white, the other of a lady in brown street-costume, admirably handled in an impressionistic way. Rosina Emmett’s two portraits are charming in composition and treatment. Benoni Irwin’s portrait of a man with folded arms is vigorous and expressive. William M. J. Rice, in his large figure of a young girl in mediaeval costume, and Miss M. Geraldine Reed, in her bizarre and well-painted half-length ‘Lucilla,” present good examples of fantastic portraiture. J. Alden Weir’s portrait of John F. Weir is strong in technique and in characterization.
Some very good work is found among the figure-subjects. Abbott Thayer’s ‘Woman and Swan’ contains valuable painting and modelling. ‘An Aztec Sculptor’ by George de F. Brush is a very complete work, painted with great care and finish. Kenyon Cox’s large decorative composition, ‘Painting and Poetry,’ has excellent work in the figures and shows marked aptness for mural work on the part of the painter. A well-handled decorative figure by Herbert Denman is called ‘Roses.’ T. W. Dewing’s ‘Tobit and the Angel’ has a delicate and beautiful decorative quality, and infuses modern poetic sentiment into the old Apocryphal story. It is carefully painted throughout. Wyatt Eaton’s ‘The Reader,’ a small nude female figure with blue drapery about it, shows the grace and ideality which, combined with an excellent technique, are peculiar to this painter’s treatment of the human body. The landscapes are numerous and interesting. Walter L. Palmer’s ‘An Early Snow,’ giving part of a river and its wooded banks with a fairy-life effect of distance, is very original in treatment and extremely pure and truthful in color–quite an ideal bit of impressionism. Blum’s ‘Venetian Palaces,” Emil Carlsen’s ‘Cape Ann Sands’ and two still-life subjects, Gedney Bunce’s ‘Bessie Watt’s Meadow,” Joe Evans’s well-painted English garden and cottage, Charles H. Davis’s ‘First Snow’ and ‘A November Morning,’ C. M. Dewing’s exquisite little portrait of a lady will not be overlooked; nor F. D. Millet’s classic girl with a vessel on her shoulder, which is so well painted in a dispassionate way; nor Mr. Blashfield’s bit of pseudo-classicism in the shape of a girl whose surroundings suggest in color the title of the picture, ‘Tea Rose.’ Mr. Tarbell’s full length portrait of a young woman in a black gown is painted with knowledge and a suggestive touch. Irving R. Wile’s ‘At the Piano’ and Wm. S. Allen’s interior with figures are clever impressions. Abbott Thayer’s ‘Roses’ and Caroline T. Hecker’s ‘Azaleas’ are brilliant examples of flower painting. Henry Walker’s two nudes, ‘Proteus’ and ‘Bather,’ merit careful study. Mr. Brewster’s plaster bust of Carroll Beckwoth is a nervous workman-like head full of life. Edwin Elwell’s head of a young girl is delicate without weakness and subtle in expression. The exhibition as a whole is highly creditable to American art.
WORKS BY EMIL CARLSEN