Retracing our steps, we invade the Argentine, in a well-appointed gallery. The first general impression is very good, though on closer examination nothing of really great merit holds one’s attention for any length of time. While naturalism reigns in Portugal, a more pronounced decorative conventional note predominates in this section, particularly in the portraiture. There is a peculiar superabundance of purple and dark reds in the Argentine section, which gives this gallery a morbid quality. On the main wall, in the left corner, Héctor Nava has a very distinguished “Lady in Black”. Among all of the portraits on this wall it is easily the best, although some charming interiors of a singularly cool tonality are not without interest. They are too reminiscent of Frieseke to convince one of their originality. Another “Black Lady”, continuing toward the right on the next wall, has much to recommend her. A better frame would enhance the merit of this canvas.
There is no landscape of any importance in the Argentine section, no matter how hard the effort to find one. They are all singularly artificial. A small harbor picture by Pedro Delucchi is strong in colour, as well as in technical treatment. It has an unusual wealth of colour, and great richness which contrasts strongly with the general coldness of this section.
Here another South American republic holds forth in a small gallery off the Italian section. The gallery is dominated by a large equestrian portrait of General Galarza, by Blanes Viale. A certain fondness for disagreeable greens and for decorative effects is noticeable in this gallery, and one is not convinced of the necessity for a more comprehensive display.
The same remark applies to the Cuban section, where Romanach’s Düsseldorf style of picture shows at least good academic training, without rising, however, above illustration in any one of the very well painted figure pictures. Rodriguez Morey’s big, intimate foreground studies are commendable for their faithfulness and for a certain poetic quality which takes them out of the realm of mere accurate truthfulness.