Date 1890-01-01
Publication Mag. of Art
Topic Portraits of Browning, part 1
AP display
RA display
Subject art
  ↳ lit
Keywords Browning bio. via history w/portraits
Standards first-person recall
  ↳ portraits

Annotation details

90 January Magazine of Art


Part one of Rossetti's commentary regarding portraits of Browning.


Rossetti, William M. "Portraits of Robert Browning." Magazine of Art (January 1890): 181. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti proposes a study in three parts: first, commentary regarding what he personally knew of Browning through firsthand contact, and second, qualitative and quantitative analysis of the pictures themselves. That, he promises, will provide the reader with "symmetry and comprehensiveness" in both areas.

Rossetti explains the origin of his relationship to Browning in the early 1850s (through Browning's acquaintance with Dante Gabriel Rossetti) and the early years of exchanged visits and concurrent events, including meetings with Tennyson with readings by both poets. The intent seems to be to put the reader in close contact with the life of Browning as it unfolded through Rossetti's firsthand contact.

Events like the encounter that resulted in readings by both Tennyson and Browning allow Rossetti to put Browning into relief by comparison with Tennyson in the physical quality of his voice, diction and elocution. Tennyson was likely familiar to readers and would thereby offer some basis of comparison for the differences Rossetti points out.

The specific comments on individual portraits are correlated with observations about Browning's personality and character, and Rossetti's estimation of the consistency between the artistic portrayal and the actual traits of the poet as Rossetti knew him.

See also part two and part three.


exposition, education, recognition and praise


accurate likeness in physical characteristics as well as character

Standards of Judgment:

historical accuracy, consistency


Mr. Story, Landor, Ferdinand Hiller, Mr. Barlow, George Patton, A.R.A, Frederick Sir Frederick Leighton, Gordigiani, Field Talford, Mr. Gosse, Hamo Thornycroft, the Royal Academy, 19 Warwick Crescent, George Frederick Watts


evaluative, definitive

Writing technique/tone:

Expository, explanatory, educational, historical