Rossetti, W[illia]m M[ichael]. "Art News from England. Letter XVII." Crayon 3 (Sep. 1856), 276-278.

excerpt

Of individual works of art, the news is now becoming necessarily scanty. Mr. Holman Hunt’s "Scape-goat,"–than which no picture of the year has excited more interest and discussion–will become part of the collection of Mr. Windus, long famous for its Turners, and recently sprinkled with conspicuous Pre-Raphaelite works. There was a likelihood of its being engraved by Mr. Thomas Landseer, the first man in the profession for works of this character; but will now, I understand, come into the hands of Mr. Barlow instead. The picture, like Mr. Hunt’s previous work, "The Light of the World," has produced a serious religious impression. Anglican bishops glorified it on the opening day of the Academy Exhibition; the Presbyterian British Quarterly says that "many British hearts have blessed the painter;" and more that one reference has been made to it from the pulpit–a fact most strangely exceptional in English preaching. . . .

An interesting commission of a kind rare in this country, has been given by the cultivated owner of a mansion in our northernmost county of Northumberland; the decoration, namely, of an arcaded court of the house with a series of paintings on a large scale of the historical order. The number of paintings, if I recollect aright, is to be six, and the dimensions of each something like 12 by 7 feet; the architectural effect of the whole being to be completed by decorative painting between the historical subjects. The artist who has bee selected for this arduous honor is Mr. W. B. Scott, the Master of the Government School of Art at Newcastle, known by his pen in poetics and other literature as well by his pencil in art. He intends to make the series illustrative of the history and worthies of Northumberland; and contemplates executing the works in oil-color rather than fresco. I understand that Ruskin has promised to visit the mansion on his return from Switzerland, and to give its owner the benefit of his counsel.


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Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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