Date 1877-11-24
Publication Academy
Topic Society of British Artists
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords Soc. Brit. Art.
  ↳ pictures & sketches
Standards PRB aesthetic standards
  ↳ merit
Notes Insight into Soc. membership
  ↳ artists "damaging"
  ↳ see also 78.04.06

Annotation details

77 November 24 Academy


Society of British Artists, Pictures and Sketches.


Rossetti, William M. "The Society of British Artists." Academy (November 24, 1877): 495. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


This review gives an indication of Rossetti's perspective regarding the function of art societies and the problems associated with membership. Rossetti mentions that the present exhibition is the last to be held at that Suffolk Street location, and he suggests that when the Society moves their exhibition to the Conduit Street location, he hopes that some of the weaker members of the society who have been "rather damaging from an artistic point of view" will be left behind. The next year, Rossetti reports no improvement in the Society's exhibition in their new location.

He chides the organization for taking as members artists who are not on a level that reflects favorably on the Society as a whole. The honorary members (he cites Gilbert and Sir Frederick Leighton) count for little in practice and Rossetti states that there is no shortage of artists of high caliber not already in associations that could replace those whose work reflects poorly on the entire group.

With those prefacing remarks, Rossetti pronounces the present exhibition to be no better than previous ones held in the gallery, with the highlight of the exhibition being the work of Miss Meyer. Rossetti considers her work in descriptive terms, explaining the visual appearance and the physical impact, then comments on the technical issues in the paintings.

He cites several above average (for this exhibition) works, then proceeds to a dense section of names and works with no commentary.




Society of British Artists, Pictures and Sketches

Standards of Judgment:

Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic standards

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, polemical, deliberative


Sir Frederick Leighton, Meyer, Woolmer, John Pettie