Sporting with the Leaves that Fall

Sporting with the Leaves that Fall by Edgar Barclay. Exhibited at the 1884 Royal Academy. Oil on canvas. Source: Magazine of Art. Click on image to enlarge it.

Commentary from the 1884-85 Magazine of Art

The best of Mr. Barclay's five pictures at the Grosvenor, the Rescued Fruit is inferior to his one contribution to the Academy, Sporting with the Leaves that Fall. . . There is generally something attractive about Mr. Barclay's rendering of children and their ways; the sentiment is free from mawkishness, and the children themselves are full of natural health — rosy and spirited, and never of the rag-doll species so frequent in our exhibitions. . . . The Academy landscape is one of Mr. Barclay's strongest efforts, the figures full of charm and vivacity, the incident well told, and the woodland — a New Forest scene — delineated with force and skill, the bright aspect of the autumnal season being successfully presented. Indeed, this new departure of Mr. Barclay from the mountain slopes and olive yards of Kabylia is excellent as welcome, and we may hope he will devote himself to English landscape in more extended ways in the future. Such subjects as the present, when thus treated, and the purely rustic element is not eliminated by the idealising process, must always be popular, as they revive one of the best traditions of the old English school, and there is, besides, ample room for such work. [395-96]

[An earlier number of the 1884-85 Magazine of Art contains an extensive discussion of Barclay’s orientalist work, including that painted in Algiers.]

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“Current Art.—I.” Magazine of Art. 7 (1883-84): 392-401. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 31 December 2014.

Created 1 January 2015