"Sketchings: An Exhibition of English Art." Crayon 4 (Aug. 1857), 251.


A project to organize an exhibition of the works of living British artists in this country has been maturing for some time past in London. The idea was suggested, no doubt, by the late successful exhibition of French and German works of Art in London: the encouragement to proceed with the enterprise here is due to the favor which foreign works of Art have always obtained from the American public, as well as the cordial endorsement of our own artists and amateurs generally. We are happy to state that active measures are being taken to carry forward the enterprise vigorously, and that the exhibition will open during the autumnal months.

The British School of Art is second to none in Europe for intrinsic excellence; no school shows greater vitality, in respect to extensive range of subject, or superior skill in artistic treatment; and we do not think any other school appeals so strongly to American sympathies. What, perhaps, renders the English School specially interesting at the present time is the degree of development of the Pre-Raphaelite reform, which movement in the Art-world of England has interested not only those in our land specially devoted to Art, but likewise a class of readers who never thought about Art at all, until they were aroused to its noble aims and usefulness, by the eloquent pen of Ruskin. This reform which Ruskin has advocated so zealously has progressed to such an extent as to be "frankly accepted," as Ruskin himself says. The works which illustrate the reform must accordingly furnish a strong stimulant to the curiosity of our public; and one of the attractive features of the proposed exhibition will, therefore, be a full and satisfactory representation of the Pre-Raphaelite School, including the best works of Millais, Holman Hunt, Dante Rossetti, Hughes, Windus, and others. . . .

We have only alluded to the leading features of this exhibition; trusting in our next to present more ample details. By the last accounts, the circulars which had been addressed to the body of British artists soliciting contributions had been warmly responded to in the shape of liberal offers of works and sympathy. Among those who are specially interested in the exhibition may be named Mr. John Ruskin and Mr. W. M. Rossetti, and Mr. Augustus Ruxton, the later [sic] gentleman being its liberal and enterprising projector. These gentlemen are an abundant guarantee that the works contributed will be at once attractive to our public and honorably representative of English Art-genius. All we can say is, let the works of British artists be warmly welcomed, and liberally patronized. In honoring these we furnish the best possible return for the noble treatment extended to such American specialities [sic] as have occasionally arrested the attention of the frank and generous English people.

This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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