IT IS A LITTLE difficult to tell whether Peggy Bacon is meaner to the dowager
than to the statues. In an unguarded moment, the artist once confessed that
ehe thinks statuary rather silly, and looking at Antique Beauty you get just what
she means. It is pretty obvious that she doee not feel as warm about these
marbles than he does about the gallery picture.
The lolling siren on the
right is as absurd as the runner set on his mark but maliciously devitalized of
all his energy. The composition is held together by the grim old woman, who
is hedged in by this stone mythology. By some subtle trick, she is made to
seem a trifle overawed.
Antique Beauty is not a kind picture. The crudest comment of all comes
from the vest-pocket on the lower left. Allowed some exquisiteness of
line and modeling, she makes the point clear, once and for all, that fat old
women should not be seen in sculpture galleries. Alexander Brook, Miss
Bacon’s husband, has called attention to hit wife’, “crowded plates”: so they
are, and so is life. Antique Beauty is one of the most crowded, and the statues
are not to blame.