Date 1875-06-26
Publication Academy
Topic The International Exhibition
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords "worthless" exhib.
  ↳ illegitimate means
  ↳ $ v. art
Standards classical aesthetic standards
Notes Strongest condemnation
  ↳ art of "illegitimate means."

Annotation details

75 June 26 Academy


The International Exhibition of 1875.


Rossetti, William M. "The International Exhibition 1875." Academy (June 25, 1875): 164. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Perhaps the most directly derisive notice of an exhibition reviewed by Rossetti, this essay proclaims "how utterly worthless it is." Rossetti states that there are upwards of a thousand works on display, "yet there is nothing to look at." The best among the sub-standard group are painted with other than legitimate means, says Rossetti, implying that the larger motivation behind the artwork is "the well-grounded conviction that low art may be made a paying concern."

Rossetti says he should simply "leave off" reviewing, but would mention a few works and artists without specific comment other than the overall condemnation of the entire exhibition. It is noteworthy that because this is an international exhibition, the works come from other countries. A recurring theme for Rossetti has been the dilution of both quality and patronage by the glut of art works from other countries bought by the British who are largely uninformed about aesthetic value in art.

He concludes with the statement that the exhibit's organization has sunk as low as it could possibly go and consequently, they must either improve or cease to hold international exhibitions.




worthless exhibition, illegitimate means, saleable vs. good art

Standards of Judgment:

PRB aesthetic standards

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, definitive; polemical


Gabriel Max, Focardi