Date 1876-11-11
Publication Academy
Topic The French Gallery
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords French Gallery
  ↳ bad painting
Standards PRB aesthetic standard
Notes Works down to the "decidedly stupid"
  ↳ Long "Lame Ducks."

Annotation details

76 November 11 Academy


The French Gallery.


Rossetti, William M. "The French Gallery." Academy (November 11, 1876): 582. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti reminds readers that the French Gallery exhibitions with "curious regularity" alternate between good and bad exhibitions each year and unfortunately, this year "is the turn for the poor exhibition." Rossetti notes one excellent picture, one unremarkable picture, and the rest a decreasing continuum of quality bottoming out at the "decidedly stupid." The "excellent" picture was done by Meissonier and remarkable one by Gierymski.

Rossetti examines in detail the design and function of Gierymski's Merchant of Venice, finding defects in the storytelling and the creation of imagery in the viewers' minds.

Rossetti chides Mr. Long for having had commercial success which has seemingly locked him into fashionable, saleable execution rather than authentic art: Mr. Long, no doubt, must have had a dead set made at him by picture dealers and patrons ever since the tumult of success achieved by his Babylonian Marriage Market in 1875, and all the dead stock and lame ducks of his studio have become articles of commerce."

Rossetti notes that one painting that should never have been exhibited "bears a date no less remote than 1831."




French Gallery, poor quality

Standards of Judgment:

Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic standards

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative; polemical


Meissonier, Gierymski, Burgess, Mrs. Anderson, Long, Harding