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Randall Davies

One of the sensations of the Exhibition of Spanish Old Masters at the Grafton Gallery in the autumn of 1913 was an altar panel, dated 1250, which was acquired by Mr Roger Fry in Paris, and catalogued as of the "Early Catalan School." In view of the fact that this picture is "certainly to be regarded as one of the very oldest of primitive pictures painted on wood in any country ...

In the preface to the Anecdotes of Painting written in 1762, Horace Walpole observes that this country had not a single volume to show on the works of its painters. "In truth," he continues, "it has very rarely given birth to a genius in that profession. Flanders and Holland have sent us the greatest men that we can boast.

William Hogarth occupies a curious position in the history of English painting. There was nothing ever quite like him in any country—except Greuze in France; for though a comparison between two such opposites, seems at first sight absurd, it must be remembered that French and English painting in the middle of the eighteenth century were no less far apart.

In 1383, on the death of Louis de Maele, his son-in-law Philip the Hardy, Duke of Burgundy, assumed the government of Flanders. In the same year Philip founded the Carthusian Convent at Dijon and employed a Flemish painter named Melchin Broederlam to embellish two great shrines within it.

Whether or not Sir Joshua Reynolds is entitled to be ranked among the very greatest painters, there can be no question that he has a place among the most famous, not only on account of his actual painting, but also because of the influence exerted by his whole-hearted devotion to his art, and his strong character in forming, out of such unpromising elements, a really vigorous school of painting i

So far as it concerns pictures painted upon panel or canvas in tempera or oils, the history of painting begins with Cimabue, who worked in Florence during the latter half of the thirteenth century.

Dr Waagen thus summarises the history of painting in the Netherlands during the interval of about a century and a half that elapsed between the death of Jan van Eyck in 1440 and the birth of Peter Paul Rubens in 1577.

Not until the year of Gainsborough's death, 1788, was there born another landscape painter. This was John Crome, and he too came from the east of England, nearest to Holland, being born in Norfolk, the neighbouring county to Gainsborough's native Suffolk. Within ten years more, two still greater landscapists were born, also in the east, Constable in Essex, still closer to Sudbury, and Turner in London.

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