The Royal Academy Exhibition
One of the works still belonging wholly to the old school. There is a good deal of fair painting in it, but an extraordinary missing of the main mark throughout. See the second paragraph of the long quotation in the catalogue:
"Again the afternoon sun was shining over the great walnut-tree, full into the gallery. From this pleasant spot, filled with the fragrance of the garden and the murmur of the fountain, and bright with glimpses of the golden Vera, they carried him to the gloomy chamber of his sleepless nights, and laid him on the bed from which he was to rise no more."
[From Stirling-Maxwell's Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V]
Naturally we expect the painter to take some pains (as he has given this quotation) in the expression of verdure, fragrance, and sunshine. But the walnut-tree is grey, not green; the air, judging by the look of it, cannot be perfumed by anything but paint ; and there is no sunshine anywhere, while the whitish light, which is given for it, shines not over the tree into the gallery, but from the back of the spectator. The exhibited pictures, by Titian (!), are greyer than all the rest. Charles must have bought them from an exceedingly dishonest dealer.
[Alfred Elmore (1815-1881) was elected R.A. in the year following this exhibition.
He continued to paint historical pictures.]