The Royal Academy Exhibition 1856
The superposition of this picture to " West Australian" is the first glaring piece of bad hanging I note in the Academy this year. Mr. Cooper's picture, whatever its merits may be, is executed so as to have been seen quite as well in the upper place ; while Mr. Lewis's cannot be seen in the least but on the line. It would take no trouble. any afternoon when the Academy closes, to change the places; and I am sure that Mr. Cooper would, in enforcing such an arrangement, be felt to have paid a just tribute to the talents of a great brother-artist, and to have done himself little injury and much honour. Of the style of Mr. Lewis's picture I need only say that it is like that of his work in general, and refer the reader to the note on the example of it in the rooms of the Water-Colour Society (p. 73). There is, however, a very curious and skilful circumstance in the composition here: the neck of the camel was too serpentine, and stopped too abruptly after suggesting this undulation of line. The white cloud beyond at once varies, and continues, this serpentine tendency, leading it away towards the upper edge of the picture, while the straight flakes of cloud, descending obliquely to the right, oppose the two upright peaks of the saddle. I may as well refer at once to Mr. Lewis's other work, 336 l (the Academy is rich in possessing two). How two such pictures have been executed, together with the drawing for the Water-Colour Society, all within the year, is to me wholly inconceivable ; there seems a year's work in 336 alone. Yet it is not a favourable example of the master the toil being too palpable and equal on the stones in the reflected light ; where also there is neither colour nor form of interest enough to justify it. The draperies and trelliswork are faultlessly marvellous.