"The Hyde Park Gallery." The Art-Journal (11) 1 April 1849, 147.

excerpt

No. 368. ‘The Girlhood of Mary Virgin,’ G. D. Rosetti [sic]. This picture is the most successful as a pure imitation of early Florentine art that we have seen in this country. The artist has worked in austere cultivation of all the virtues of the ancient fathers. The Virgin is seated on the right of the composition, embroidering a lily on a piece of red velvet, her work apparently being directed by Elizabeth, who is seated by her side; and near them is a cherub, watering a lily. There is no shade in the picture, the figures being rounded by gradations jealous of the slightest approach to depth. The expression and character of the features are intense and vivacious, and these, together with the draperies and accessories, are elaborated into the highest degree of nicety. Thus, with all of the severities of the Giotteschi, we find necessarily the advances made by Pietro della Francesca and Paolo Ucello, without those of Masolino de Panicale.
     No. 82. ‘King Lear,’ F. M. Brown. The subject of this picture is the scene in the tent of Cordelia, in the camp at Dover. The old man, "fourscore years and upwards," lies upon a couch and is tended by Cordelia, Kent, and others. The moment chosen by the artist, is that immediately before the waking of Lear–

"Physician. Louder, the music there.

Cordelia. Oh, my dear father," etc.

The aged king lies upon his right side, with his face turned to the spectator, and in his hand, and yet in his hair, are some of the wild-flowers with which he was ornamented in his madness, the left arm is exposed, and every care has been exerted to describe age. Cordelia stands at the foot of the couch, with her arms extended before her in an attitude which is, perhaps, the most questionable part of the composition. Of her features, too, it may be observed that they want dignity. The musicians stand beyond the back screen of the couch, which bears by the way, the portrait of Harold, by Matilda of Flanders, in the Bayeux tapestry. We have not space to dwell upon the numerous attractive details of the picture; we can only say, that it is a production which embodies the highest qualities of art, and if those of our historical and poetical painters whose works confess them but "indifferent honest," would labor with half the earnestness we see in this, they would not complain of their department of Art being unpopular.


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Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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