Date 1875-05-22
Publication Academy
Topic Society of French Art exhibition
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords sub-std art
  ↳ patronage
  ↳ uninformed market
Standards aesthetic standards
Notes Poor art + uninformed buyers = loss for good art. Cheyne Walk cir.

Annotation details

75 May 22 Academy


Society of French Artists Exhibit.


Rossetti, William M. "The Society of French Artists." Academy (May 22, 1875): 159. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti pillories Deschamps, the organizer of the exhibition, for ostensibly "submitting to English connoisseurs examples of the highest French art," a goal that Rossetti also shares, but which is unrealized in the present exhibition. In fact, Rossetti accuses Deschamps of "flooding and glutting the English market with second down to twentieth rate specimens of foreign art, offending the judicious, misleading the ignorant and gullible, wheedling the British bank-note out of the lax and wealthy hands, and diverting the stream of patronage from many a fairly good native painter to many a positively bad foreign one."

Rossetti is circumspect in his judgment of the current exhibition, citing some good but many below average works, and his only real analytical focus is on the work of Alphonse Legros, one of his Cheyne Walk circle of friends. Rossetti's analysis of Alphonse Legros's excellent work stands as a counterpoint to the lesser quality that dominates the exhibition while at the same time, acknowledging the value of legitimate French art.




poor art, French exhibition, the art market, uninformed buyers

Standards of Judgment:

aesthetic standards, accomplishment

Rhetoric and tone:



Alphonse Legros, Deschamps

Works Cited

Rossetti, William Michael. Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti.. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner, 1906. Print.