Date 1869-07-17
Publication Athenaeum
Topic Deny connection between WMR and RA pamphlet
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords deny
  ↳ refute
  ↳ truth
  ↳ RA treachery
Standards fact
  ↳ truth

Annotation details

69 July 17 Athenaeum


Rossetti denies any connection between himself, Swinburne and a Royal Academy pamphlet.


Rossetti, William M. "The Royal Academy." Athenaeum (July 17, 1869): 82. Web. 21 September 2011.


This is a letter apparently sent by Rossetti to the Royal Academy, but published in the Athenaeum. Rossetti seeks to deny any connection imputed by a Royal Academy pamphlet published in 1869 to the similar pamphlet he and Swinburne independently published in 1868. According to Rossetti, the wording on the 1869 pamphlet implies that the authors of the two pamphlets are the same and, further, that the criticism of the painting "Royal Marriage" in the later pamphlet therefore carries the same critical authority.

Rossetti denies the connection in general and the critical comments specifically: "I know not who has written Academy Notes for 1869, or what his qualifications for 'reading a lesson' to Mr. Ward are; but I do know that I have and profess no such qualification, and that the writer has much misrepresented me in saying that 'we'-i.e., I-ever read a lesson to the painter . . ." He terms the idea of him ever teaching a lesson to an artist "ludicrous" and states that actually the reverse is true: artists teach him daily lessons.

All Rossetti has ever done, he claims, is express his own sincere opinions for those who might wish to read them but clearly, he states, they were never intended to be any sort of advice to artists.

It is interesting to consider how Rossetti and Swinburne's audacious act of publishing an independent "Notes" pamphlet critiquing both the Royal Academy exhibition of 1868 and the Royal Academy aesthetic precepts might have in some way prompted the equally bold hijacking of Rossetti and Swinburne's personal ethos by the Royal Academy in 1869.


critical; rebuttal, corrective, educational


"set right", denial, Notes on 1868-1869

Standards of Judgment:

setting facts straight, correction, fairness, authenticity


the Royal Academy Exhibitions of 1868 and 1869, Swinburne (mentioned as "another author"), Ward


rebuttal, definitive


"All I have ever done in writing about works of art is to express my sincere opinion, such as it is, for the consideration of anyone who may choose to read it . . ."