A LONDON EXHIBITION (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT)
LONDON, Jan 19-The newly formed London Portrait Society is holding its first annual exhibition at the Burlington Galleries at the back of the Royal Academy. Here Mr. George Coates, who is a founder member is represented by 30 works—portraits in oils, water-colour sketches, and pictures which are sufficiently removed from reality to suggest imagina- tion. This selection from his recent work enables London critics to "place" a popular artist, and Mr. Coates is enduring the ordeal with full success. Since he painted his "Walke Brothers" Mr Coates has won an international reputation. A recent honour which came to him was full mem- bership of the Societie des Beaux Arts in Paris, an honour which carries with it the right to show his pictures on the line at the annual shows of the New Salon. This recognition from his brother artists in Paris suggests the conspicuous virtue of Mr. Coates's talent. He thinks in terms of colour and line, and always seeks a pic- torial unity in any composition which a subject forces upon him. Each picture, therefore, has the interest of a new crea- tion;, it is not the thing we saw last week, last month, or last year. The largest canvas in the London Portrait Society is a life sized group of Lady Forbes-Robert- son and her daughter Jean who is now charming London as Peter Pan. In five or six recent plays Jean Forbes-Robertson has given evidence of power to fire a play with imaginative life, and she is the more interesting figure in Mr Coates's picture. Lady Forbes-Robertson is seated and Miss Jean is standing beside her, holding a 'cello. The vivacity of the mother is attractive, but even more attractive is the dreaming mood of the daughter. This, with a crimson curtain and the gloom of
the studio setting, combines to make up an interesting picture. "Mrs Manner- ing" asketch of a woman in a purple headdress, with drapery worked out in a pleasant scheme of blue-greys, is another ???????? as is a powerful head of an aged man in armour, with the fate of the ages shadovved forth from deep set eyes. "Mrs. Winfred Wavell," a sketch in oils, in which the colour scheme arises from a red cloak and "Miss Olive Lethbridge," a charming fire light studv of a lady wear- ing a cloak of cloth of gold, are other
Perhaps Mr. Coates's gifts are most con- spicuous in a brilliant series of water- colour sketches which hang together in a small side gallery. "Miss Banbury" is a bold sketch, based upon a black hat, the masses of which give character alike to colour scheme and formal design. In sharp opposition to the defiant grace of this drawing are a pleasant sketch of a countty maiden, "Edith," arranged in a white cap and "The Widow," a study in weary grief.