"Exhibition of the Royal Academy" [Christ in the House of His Parents review]. Illustrated London News 14 May 1850, 336.
excerpt, with illustration
Of still greater excellence is Mr. Millais "Christ in the Carpenters Shop" (518), engraved for our present Numbera picture painted, it is said, on a wrong principle, but with a thousand merits, and many intentional defects. Mr. Millais has taken his subject from Zechariah XIII.6: "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? The he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." What is called, somewhat slightingly, the pre-Raphaelism of this picture, is its leading excellence. We may look in vain throughout the whole of the Exhibition for another picture (Mr. Dyces alone excepted) in which we shall find a sincerity of look in the heads of the principal figures at all comparable to this. The intentional deformities, such as the frost-bitten toes of Joseph, the sore heel of the Virgin, &c., are not at all to our taste; but the picture has so many merits, that all its eccentricities may be very well excused, though they cannot be overlooked.
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