"Wet Days at Bryn Cefn." Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 79.483 (Jan. 1856): 90. Excerpt.

Mr Boniface Milborde is a fair youth of about twenty, with finely-chiselled nose, short upper-lip, light eyes and ingenuous features, set off by fair hair of the hyacinthine kind, and the most delicate hint of an artistic mustache. He is a Catholic, rather ultra-montane in his views, but no one, to look at him, would take him for a Jesuit. As far as we can see, his ultra-montanism, is chiefly apparent, by a propensity to touch up his pictures on Sundays, which he does on principle, thinking that a religious thing, but which would have given him a very small chance of anything good in the eyes of an elder of the Free Kirk. Of course he is a pre-Raphaelite of the most pronounced kind, and his tree-stems, foliage, and herbage are all most conscientiously drawn, but the outlines are a little stiff, and the distance comes uncomfortably forward into the eye; for pre-Raphaelite pictures, like the planet Mars, have no atmosphere, and ought to have been confined to studies in that planet, or in the moon, which is believed by wise men to be in the same predicament. They may well be called religious on this ground, for they are certainly not of this world, which is given to robe its shame in a certain blue haze, said profanely, we suppose, by Southey, to "spiritualise the mountains of Britain." But, however that may be, Boniface shows worldly wisdom in his Welsh costume, for he comes in in a full suit of india-rubber, like Achilles vulnerable only in the feet. When he wants to alter a pencil sketch, he has only to lift the hem of his garment, which saves the trouble of carrying that most fugitive of all possessions, a lump of caoutchouc, in his pocket. If he could but make his academy boards as waterproof as himself he might have gone on for ever delineating the drifting rain with pre-Raphaelite fidelity.


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Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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