Mr. J. F. Lewis ought to lash otu and tear himself from that netted camel housing. Th Waiting for the Ferry Boat--Upper Egypt (135) is not a picture of two men and two camels, but of two camels and two men. The white beasts look a little as if they were cut out of stained deal, and the men's faces are slurred. The netting is laborious, as usual, because there, we suppose, it hangs before the artist's easel,--but the grass is entirely false, and the finish a mere pretence. This sort of painting ruins the memory, the minds's eye, which in a great artist should be as strong and absorbent as the body's eye. . . .
Mr. Watts's Isabella (438) is a pretty portrait, painted in the manner of Sir Chrles Eastlake, turned, if it were possible, P.R.B. The painting is a little flat and over-cautious, but there is a great charm about it; it is the only good idealized portrait in the Exhibition,--and it is well and fairly hung, too, which is miraculous. . . .
One of the most beautiful things in the dark [sculpture] chamber is the Measurement, by Foxglove (1251) of Mr. Munro's. This is rather a clumsy name for a group in which the very soul of childish and uncoscious grace is embodied. The group consiste of the two children of Gathorne Hardy, Esq., one of whom is measuring the other with a bell stalk of giant foxglove, the fairy cups of which arch above her head. The execution is exquisite in finish, though, perhaps, a little heavy in the back folds. This is an admirable attempt to idealize portrait sculpture. If the dead children of Chantrey had come to life, and tripped down the choir of Lichfield, they would not have been more innocent and graceful than these births of the chisel. Mr. Munro's medallions are graceful and cameo-like as ever; the alto-rilievo female heads in the deep circular recesses full of the most refined beauty. The Robert Browning (1358) will interest all admireres of this poet.--Mr. Woolner's carefully clean-cut medallion of Mrs. Tennyson (1380) is most deserving of praise; his bust of Rajah Brooke (1317), though epical in feeling and admirably like, is a little enfeebeled by the unsuccessful attempt to express the unevenness and dimpling of skin produced in the face by small-pox. The result of all this timid scraping, and blunting, and paring, and lining is, that the face looks like a mask of corrugated leather. It should be reproduced without this, except where the sinking of the skin affects the profile.