Date 1875-06-05
Publication Academy
Topic Royal Academy, fourth notice
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords exhibition
  ↳ analysis
  ↳ critique
  ↳ commentary
Standards RA exhibition
  ↳ relative merit

Annotation details

75 June 5 Academy


Royal Academy Exhibition 1875, fourth notice.


Rossetti, William M. "The Royal Academy Exhibition 1875." Academy (June 5, 1875): 161. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


This is a continuation of the typical Rossetti review pattern: selected works from the nearly 2,000 on display, with some analyses of varying length and detail regarding the painter's intent, scheme of execution, storytelling; then, the results, effects, successes, strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings. The Rossetti evaluates the relative achievement and sometimes, comparative merit in regard to previous work from the artist and finally, the works of other artists.

In this section of the four part review, Rossetti categorizes his critique into three domestic art groupings: "native" female artists, "native" male artists, and those who "infer of foreign nationality."

The items of value Rossetti notes are associated with paintings exhibiting "an abundance of true expression" rather than simply good execution of form or style. The value of execution is explicitly placed lower than meaning in Rossetti's commentary regarding PRB-movement artist and frequent associate Charles Leslie's work which Rossetti finds to be "an agreeable picture, kept down, in execution as well as in theme, to the level of an innocent simplicity. J.D. Watson is noted for effective "picturesque literalism," and PRB figure Holman Hunt is mentioned exhibiting "true artistic impulse. Mrs. Alma-Tadema, wife of Cheyne Walk associate Laurence Alma-Tadema, is singled out for a "decidedly pleasant" picture, although Rossetti says it "could benefit from some additional firmness of work in the figures."




1875 RA exhibition, critique, analysis

Standards of Judgment:

PRB aesthetic principles

Rhetoric and tone:



Philip H. Calderon, Tissott, Charles Leslie, Storey, Mrs. Alma-Tadema, Holman Hunt


". . . the sentiment, though adequate and unforced, is rather cheaply attained . . ."