IMPRESSIONS OF BURLINGTON HOUSE An Academy Without a Problem Picture
VIEWED BY IRIS CONLAY To-day is guest day at the Royal Academy. On Monday, the rest of the world will be allowed beyond the turnstiles, and then will follow the annual discussions which take the same form every year—discussions upon the imagined decadence of English art, upon the conservatism of the hanging committee—and upon the problem picture.
The first two points will still be discussed this year and the same conflicting opinions will be voiced—this is to be expected—but there will not be the same twitterings about problem pictures because this year's academy has no secrets.
In fact, the exhibition sponsored by the academicians in 1936 is one mainly of portraits—and royal processions. The centrepiece of Gallery 3 is a detailed impression by Mr. Frank 0. Salisbury of the jubilee service at St. Paul's cathedral, and is called The Heart of the Empire. In it all the royal family and great personages in the land appear as though in portrait. It is a magnificent canvas which will assuredly find a home in one of our permanent exhibitions.
In the same established tradition are studies of the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, and also the more fleeting impression of the royal funeral procession executed by M. Jean-Pierre Greenlaw.
• In Search of Peace
The nearest thing to a problem picture, however, is very much hidden away in the small south room. It is intriguingly named In Search of Peace and is ingeniously portioned out to show man's futile efforts to attain that blessed state. Sleep engenders the completest rest, but the man in this bed is vainly counting the sheep. Reading is another medium, but there are such interruptions as the wireless and unwanted visitors. Even gardens fail to give the longed-for repose because the gardener demands an interview. The League of Nations fails, too, to serve its only end and the cinema is merely a drug. Louisa Hodgson is a satirist with a bitter brush.
Mr. W. B. E. Ranken with his Portrait Group on a life-size scale will obviously mystify those who like to know at whom they are looking. His picture is a study in off-whites and his subjects, the youth in riding suit and the girl in Grecian gown, have that modern fearlessness in their gaze which is admirable because it is obviously a brave effort to assume. Behind them, in the same chalky colours, is set their decorative country home, tradition offsetting modernity.
Among the sculpture exhibits is one subtly beautiful piece of carving in alabaster. Mr. Charles Wheeler has executed a human torso from the fading translucence of a block of alabaster— the nearest stone to human flesh.
Religious pictures are very few in this year's Academy. There is one rather delightful study in modern vein of the adoration of the shepherds, in which the shepherd boys are to be seen in boyish impetuosity, climbing over the garden wall to reach the stable of the inn.
FATHER DAMIEN Next Sunday's Ceremony
When the body of Fr. Damien reaches Antwerp, on May 3, in the Mercator, the illustrious company who will receive the casket at the Belgian port will include King Leopold, members of the government, and various high officials. In the imposing procession from the quay to the church the King will walk, with the other national representatives, behind the coffin. At the religious service the Archbishop of Malines, Cardinal Van Roey, will be the chief officiating prelate.
chief officiating prelate. Father Dunstan Sargent, 0.P., sent by St. Francis Leper Guild, will represent this country.
From Antwerp the remains of the great Apostle of the Lepers will be conveyed, for re-burial, to Louvain.
Mgr. Canon Wallis
Widespread pleasure has followed the announcement that Mgr. George Wallis, rector of St. Mary Magdalen's, Brighton, has been made a Canon. Mgr. Wallis began his work in the diocese of Southwark upwards of twenty years ago, after a long period of service at Westminster Cathedral as Master of Ceremonies.
Canon Wallis has received, from many parts, a multitude of felicitations upon his new honour.
The Catholic Cruise
The bookings for the second Catholic Cruise in August have shown a remarkable improvement since Easter. As was to be expected, a large proportion of last year's passengers have decided to join this year's cruise, and this has already resulted in more than half the available accommodation being taken in a short time. There is every indication of the cruise being exceptionally popular, and this may be due, to some extent, to the trip being of shorter duration.
This year's cruise lasts a fortnight and the s.s. Tuscania is calling in turn at Glasgow, Dublin, and Liverpool. One of the features of the evening entertainment on board is a varied programme of talking