The Vose Galleries, located on Boylston Street near Copley Square, are presenting an exhibit of paintings by Iacovleff, former head of the Boston Museum School of Art, who died recently in Paris. The pieces, unfortunately, are neither titled nor numbered so that it is difficult to refer to specific paintings which exemplify certain aspects of the artist's style, Iacovleff is an interesting painter; his color is dirty, his subject matter is dull, and his rendition is poor. Nevertheless, he is interesting. For he is an outstanding example of an artist who didn't know where he was. His style seems to be an odd mixture of the worst elements of Romanticism that can be found in both Delacroix and Gericault, together with a few traces of Matisse, coupled with the photographic accuracy that characterizes any good magazine illustrator. And it is lamentable that a few of his paintings are good. I say lamentable because those pieces which do show real talent only serve to accentuate the weak sort of eclecticism with which the majority of his work is stamped.
To use the style of several artists as a foundation for one's own work is no crime; Derain does it and does it well because he simply uses men such as Cezanne and Van Gogh; they do not use him in his own paintings. But with Iacovleff we find that he has imposed the styles of other painters on his own work to such a great extent that his art becomes nothing more than a collection of influences.
CURIOS: Dr. Vagts, a member of the Princeton faculty, said that he saw a connection between the balance of power concept in world politics and the part in the center of the Saviour's hair in da Vinci's painting, "The Last Supper." He said that the part is the center from which the picture's symmetry was laid out and from this the left side is seen to balance the right. This feeling for balance and symmetry, he added, was also reflected in the manner in which groups of nations were weighed against one another and the way that their powers were balanced. Dr. Vagts, however, didn't look at the painting carefully. For if he had, he would have discovered that there are thirteen people seated at the table and forty-eight squares in the tablecloth, caused by folding. These figures, of course, represent the thirteen original American colonies and the forty-eight states now belonging to the union. . . . It is interesting to find that a portrait of Charles Porter, Harvard undergraduate, is now hanging in the Wellesley Art Gallery. . . . In Turner's painting, "Slave Ship," chains are found to be floating on the surface of the water while the slaves to whom they are attached are gradually going under.