Date 1877-07-21
Publication Academy
Topic WMR reviews Redgrave's Historical Catalogue
AP display
RA display
Subject art
  ↳ lit
Keywords Kensington exhib. Cat.; RA "henchmen"
Standards concise
  ↳ accurate writing
  ↳ facts
Notes "The cloven feet of the henchmen of the Royal Academy . . ."

Annotation details

77 July 21 Academy


Catalogue of Water-Colour Paintings at South Kensington.


Rossetti, William M. "Fine Art." Academy (July 21, 1877): 72. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti remarks on the size and the scope of the catalogue, noting that the introduction alone comprises 67 pages. The individual works included as plates totals nearly 600, and Rossetti says it is fitting that since the Kensington Museum has matured, a complete catalogue is appropriate and necessary.

Rossetti sketches the information in the introduction which extends not only to the water-color methodology, but also to its history and development through its inception all the way to modern times. He points out newer terminology ("water-colour painting"), but implies that he retains the old (traditional "water-colour drawing") and names key figures in the development of the form.

There is a caustic criticism pointed at the Academy, referring to "the cloven foot of the henchmen of the Royal Academy" in the controversial quarrels of landscapist John Martin and the Academy.

Rossetti concludes with information on the publication and those involved, then points out that there are an understandable number of errors in so detailed a book. He never pronounces an overall qualitative appraisal of the volume.




catalogue, Kensington, Royal Academy henchmen

Standards of Judgment:

Effective, concise, accurate writing

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, definitive


Martin, Redgrave, Turner, Holman Hunt