"The Arts. The Royal Academy." Spectator 23.1140 (5 May 1850, 426-427.

excerpts

In the Green Room. . . Dyce, "The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel,"–rather a realist version of the subject, but very pleasing. . . .

In the Middle Room. . . G. F. Watts converts a charming young lady, "Miss Virginia Pattle," into a Titaness. . . . Egg has made a great step in his Peter the Great seeing Catherine for the first time: retaining all his original freedom and animation, he has lost much of his crudity and ungainly drawing; it is a robuster and handsomer picture than he has yet produced. . . .

The interest does not fall off in the West Room. Watts’s "Good Samaritan"–an honester picture than Eastlake’s–shall teach us some day to show how good purpose may be spoiled for want of work.... But in this room the two most singular pictures are, a design of the young Jesus, by Millais, and "A Converted British Family sheltering a Christian Missionary from the persecution of the Druids," by W. H. Hunt,–leading types of the præ-Raphael school: both are full of ability, especially that by Millais; both monstrously perverse, Millais still being the greater culprit. If one can penetrate through the nonsense of the manner to what is really in the artist, he may be conjectured to possess more power than any man in the place: but a painter who can spontaneously go back, not to the perfect schools, but through and beyond them to the days of puerile crudity, seems likely to be conscious of some fatal constitutional disease in his genius; or he would hardly, in malice prepense, make a deliberate choice of impotency.


This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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