[Rossetti, William Michael]. "Fine Arts: Exhibition of the National Institution." Spectator 25.1244 (1 May 1852), 422.


Irrespectively of landscapes, (several of which are of course good, though none is extraordinary,) there are but three pictures reasonably worth looking at,–by Mrs. M‘Ian, Mr. Glass, and Mr. Collinson. . . . The most finished painting of the three with whose mention we started is Mr. Collinson’s "Emigration Scheme,"–a pendent, though on a smaller scale, to his "Emigrant’s Letter" of 1850; and to which there would be little to object were its subject more salient, and its treatment free from some plethora of objects, and a certain isolated cut-out look in the figures. A family-group is assembled in a cottage indicative of decent comfort. The husband has on his knee an open letter–received, as we infer, from a friend at the Antipodes; and the circle is listening thoughtfully to a boy who reads from the "Australian News." Truth and delicacy of expression are visible in the sickly-looking little girl who has fallen asleep, with her head against her mother’s lap, and in her more wakeful sister, paying wide-eyed attention to the marvellous prospects unfolded as the reader proceeds. The mother watchfully tending the slumbering child; the younger woman–an unmarried sister probably–the deep reverie of whose eyes accords with the fixed yet reposeful tension of her whole posture; and the husband himself, anxiously debating of the future in his own mind–bear their parts well and individually; the least significant figure being that of a young man, the last among the group. The colour is bright, and great care has been bestowed on the object-painting. Mr. Collinson’s smaller picture, "The Wreath," is conscientious but timid in working, and inexcusably ugly.

This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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