Rossetti, W[illia]m M[ichael]. "Art News from England. Letter XIX." Crayon 3 (Nov. 1856), 340-343.


The Liverpool Academy–perhaps the most independent and enlightened of all the provincial exhibiting associations–has again proved its title to be deemed such by awarding its prize for the present year to a picture by Mr. Ford Madox Brown–"Christ Washing Peter’s Feet." Thoroughly earnest in aim and feeling, and the production of a thorough artist, this is one of the truest works of sacred art which England has brought forth. The gracious humility of the Saviour–the crouching Judas who ties the sandals on which his Master has washed, and which will even now be quick to betray him–the grave, unposturing arrangement of the background apostles–above all, the fiery Peter, now moveless and absorbed, still asking himself, as it were, whether it can really be that "The Christ the Son of the Living God" is thus meekly ministering to him–are all conceived and expressed in that singleness of heart without which no man may so much as approach such a subject. Mr. Brown has sent, with this picture, the Emigrant subject which I adverted to in a former letter, and one or two minor works. Holman Hunt contributes his "Scapegoat;" Arthur Hughes his "Eve of Saint Agnes," and "April Love;" Millais and Anthony something also. The Liverpool men, not without a tussle, I believe, have for years past, with almost unbroken consistency, held fast to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and have probably jeopardized their position somewhat in relation to artists of a different character. They deserve, therefore, all the support which the Pre-Raphaelites can give them.

This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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