Date 1875-07-17
Publication Academy
Topic Royal Academy, final notice
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords etch/draw/sculpture/architecture RA
Standards PRB aesthetic standards
Notes First purpose, good art, not good price. "Sterling art for sterling coin"

Annotation details

75 July 17 Academy


Royal Academy Exhibition 1875, final notice.


Rossetti, William M. "The Royal Academy Exhibition." Academy (July 17, 1875): 72. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rosssetti finds "very little worthy of detailed notice" in the water-colour room, with the work of Mrs. Stillman, one of Madox-Brown's protégés, standing out above the rest. Both Madox-Brown and Stillman, the former Miss Spartali, are listed among Rossetti's Cheyne Walk circle of friends.

Rossetti finds the architecture section equally unremarkable, but the drawings of Sir Gilbert W. Bell Scott stand out among the many. In sculpture, Rossetti notes Boehm's bust of Thomas Carlyle to be "worthy of a foremost place" in perpetuating the bodily semblance of a great man."

Rossetti closes the review with the overall comment that essentially states that just because he doesn't note all of the bad works-much of which he states he simply ignored-doesn't mean the exhibition was actually good. His final admonishment is to remind artists and buyers alike that art must first be of good quality, rather than simply created to norms solely aimed at a good price:

We will not say that the artists of the present day may not allowably be "wise in their generation," and make money. Let them sell their works at such prices as they can command; only let them determine that those works shall first of all be good, and done for the sake of being good rather than for their money equivalent. With this proviso, we shall congratulate them when they interchange sterling art for sterling coin.




RA landscapes, architecture, sculpture

Standards of Judgment:

PRB aesthetic standards

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, deliberative


Mrs. Stillman, Ford Madox-Brown, Sir Gilbert Scott, Boehm

Works Cited

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