A certain writer, sad and civil, like Malvolio, but with a lively pen, was asked to compose a book on the New Movement in Art. He declined, saying, “Such a work would have to be a serial, not a book, because a new movement is born each week.”
A hundred butterflies saw I,
That was yesterday. Matisse already belongs to yesterday. To-day we have the young bloods of the Slade school showing us the newest new movement in art at the Chenil Gallery. It is far removed from Matisse and the immediate vision of the moment: it is a swing back to early Italian art for inspiration – Pinturicchio, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo – anybody. Here is Mr. J. S. Currie painting in “The Lost Child” Chelsea coster men and women, and Chelsea arab kids in the manner of fifteenth century Italy, and Mr. Mark Gertler seconding him with single figures. Here is Mr. Currie’s “Joyous Visit” modern figures, and his “Workers’ Wives,” types from Mr. Arnold Bennett’s Five Towns all dipped in a Florentine bath and emerging precisely primitive in radiant colours. These young men can draw: they show no timidity: they have frankly borrowed the eyes of the Italian smaller Masters. It is all very interesting and amusing, but I wonder how the grave professors of the Slade regard their teams when they see them kicking over the traces and sporting some in the meadows of medievalism, some in the uplands of anarchy.