This society, whose first exhibition is at the Carfax Gallery, has been launched upon the town as representing the extreme of revolutionary modernity. Its members have thrown over all convention, we are told, and acknowledge no artistic rule, every man being a law unto himself. We are loath to do anything to deprive them of the passport to public favour that goes with the title of “art-anarchists,” but as a matter of fact it is not the novelty of the art displayed that constitutes its merit. It is indeed, for the most part, new to the public only to this extent – that hitherto such work, when seen at the New English Art Club, has been shown in a rather shame-faced fashion, as though the hanging committee were somewhat doubtful of the sufficiency of its merits; so that it has been easy for the critic to ignore it, if he was at all puzzled or uncertain on that point. We have ourselves perhaps been guilty of some such procrastination in regard to the curiously reserved and objective landscapes of M. Lucien Pissarro, one of the principal members of the Group. M. Pissarro has a very personal preference in the way of subject – presumably genuine, as it would seem to be a singularly unremunerative perversity. The normal landscape painter seeks in nature some subject which enables him to express symbolically the natural human desire for continuity of idea. He loves effects in which detail is fused in a simple ensemble, or co-ordinated in broadly contrasted categories – preferences which, when weakened by the habit of thoughtless production, may degenerate into a mechanical repetition of certain stock contrasts – of warm and cold colour, of obvious light and shadow, of horizontal and upright forms, and so forth – to which the painter’s observations from nature are forcibly constrained to assimilate, though the binding principle which in reality is to be discerned in her themes may be of a different and more subtle nature. It is perhaps in disgust at such blunted perceptions that M. Pissarro, though in the planning of his subject he shows a considerable sense of patterning, not only approaches the question of colour with stern determination to read into his theme no unifying principle which is not of Nature’s contriving, but also selects by preference effects of light which almost defy attempts to see in them any principle of harmony at all. He loves a harsh, matter-of-fact illumination where one thing separates from another with pitiless crudity, and the prospect offers nothing but a gaunt statement of certain concrete facts in themselves, often singularly fortuitous and without general significance.