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Sketches in Egypt

A collection of over two hundred oil pictures and water-colour drawings and sketches representing street-scenes in Alexandria and Cairo, or generally more extended views in Upper and Lower Egypt, is on view at Mr. McLean's gallery in the Haymarket. The artist is Mr. John Varley, grandson of the painter of that name, one of the fathers of English water colour art. Technically, these works have very considerable merit. A fine feeling for composition is shown in dealing with the wealth of picturesque material; the light and shade are broadly and effectively treated, and occasionally we are reminded, especially in the oil pictures, but with no sense of servile imitation, of W. Muller. The views are the fruits of several visits to the Nile Valley, and are evidently faithful and trustworthy. The collection has permanent value as well as immediate interest. The scenes in Alexandria are, we need not say, of peculiar interest at the present moment, seeing that they afford a record of forts, streets, mosques, and bazaars, many of which have now been partially or entirely destroyed—the first by the bombardment, the remainder by incendiary native bands.

Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2257—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, August 5, 1882, p.135