Date 1877-05-12
Publication Academy
Topic Royal Academy, first notice
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords RA exhibition; achievement
  ↳ relative merit
Standards RA/PRB standards
Notes 2nd part

Annotation details

77 May 12 Academy


Royal Academy Exhibition (first notice).


Rossetti, William M. "The Royal Academy Exhibition." Academy (May 12, 1877): 420. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti suggests that in comparison to past Royal Academy exhibitions, if one were to choose between "good" and "indifferent" as descriptors, the more accurate term would be indifferent. He states that the exhibition achieves some moderate success, judged by standards of authentic poetic expression executed on canvas.

There is a discussion of the injustices that plague the Royal Academy system of hanging pictures in exhibitions, a recurring Rossetti focus and criticism that usually concludes with a call for a more reasonable system of selection and determination of wall position at Royal Academy exhibitions.

There is also mention of catalogues and their value for viewers of exhibitions. Rossetti offers commentary on specific works, many of which are produced by familiar members of the Pre-Raphaelite school: Sir John Everett Millais's work is considered "a very singular and special centerpiece." Alma-Tadema, a familiar name among Rossetti's Cheyne Walk circle of regular associates is also singled out in the same way as Sir John Everett Millais: not only for the work displayed in the present exhibition, but for consistently executing the aesthetic principles Rossetti considers to be important (Reminiscences 2:323).




Royal Academy exhibition 1877, analysis, exposition

Standards of Judgment:

relative merit, comparative achievement, authenticity, quality

Rhetoric and tone:



Morgan, Sir John Everett Millais, Moody, Long, Bromley, Alma-Tadema, Philip H. Calderon, Pickering, Charles Leslie

Works Cited

Rossetti, William Michael. Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner, 1906. Print.