Date 1877-05-19
Publication Academy
Topic Royal Academy, second notice
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords 1877 RA exhibition
  ↳ comparative merit
Standards PRB aesthetic standards
Notes RA hanging gripe
  ↳ Leighton & Millais " prime distinction of 77 RA."

Annotation details

77 May 19 Academy


Part 2 WMR review of Royal Academy exhibition of May 1877.


Rossetti, William M. "The Royal Academy Exhibition." Academy (May 19, 1877): 443. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


This essay is the second part of Rossetti's analysis of the Royal exhibition of May, 1877. He ranges from art piece to art piece with mostly quantitative observations, but with occasional comments observing qualitative aspects of artist technical points and effect. Since several PRB figures exhibit successfully in this Royal Academy exhibition, there is less overall negativity in Rossetti's review, although he is vehement near the conclusion regarding the artistic "treason" that is destroying appreciation of the Japanese art of painting.

Rossetti raises a distinction between "reading a picture" rather than "recurring to it as a pleasure of sight," implying that the latter approach is the more valuable. He also notes a "theatrical picturesqueness" in John Pettie's work, and the painterlike propriety" of Sir Frederick Leighton's work. He states that Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Frederick Leighton are the "prime distinction in the Royal Academy of 1877."

The review is rich with typical WMR patterned criticism: description, theme, execution, success and relative, comparative merit in many individual works.




RA exhibition, achievement, relative merit

Standards of Judgment:

RA standards vs. PRB enlightened standards; authenticity

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, definitive


Sir Edward John Poynter, Poole, Gilbert, John Pettie, Napier, Sir Frederick Leighton, Sir John Everett Millais, Alfred Hunt, Albert Moore