"Fine Arts. The Royal Academy." Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine 18 (Jun. 1851), 377-381.

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Bray Mr. Millais in a mortar, and his Millaism will not depart from him. Bu what are the Hanging Committee about, to permit such disgraceful absurdities to disfigure the walls of the Academy? We eschew all controversy, theological, geological, and historical; but if the two young ladies in 651, "The return of the Dove to the Ark," are fair samples of the antediluvian inhabitants of the world, the Flood did good work; and we have every reason to be thankful that Professor Owen and Dr. Buckland have yet been unable to discover any authentic remains of the "homo," or, at least, of the femina diluvii testis. In 561, "Marianna [sic] in the Moated Grange" seeks to relieve her ennui by trying on a bright blue habit which pinches her back; and in 799, ‘The Woodman’s Daughter," we meet another melancholy instance of what, last year, we noticed as perverted talent; this year it is perversion without talent. Mr. Hunt’s "Scene from the Two Gentlemen of Verona" (594) is equally offensive; and Mr. Collins’s "Convent Thoughts" (493), if possible, worse. But to dwell on these painful exhibitions of fatuity is worse than waste of time. These gentlemen have forced themselves into temporary notice, as any one might do who chose to walk down Fleet-street in the dress of a pantaloon. We have not the morbid appetite which relishes these productions; and whilst we sit at such a banquet as is now spread before us we are not disposed to feast with "Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; that, in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets, and swallows the old rat and the ditch-dog."


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Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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