The Royal Academy Exhibition 1856
I thought, some time ago, that this painter was likely to be headed by others of the school ; but Titian himself could hardly head him now. This picture is as brilliant in invention as consummate in executive power ; both this and "Autumn Leaves," 448, will rank in future among the world's best masterpieces ; and I see no limit to what the painter may hope in future to achieve. I am not sure whether he may not be destined to surpass all that has yet been done in figure-painting, as Turner did all past landscape.*
[For this picture (popularly known as "The Return from the Crimea") Colonel Malcolm sat for the wounded officer, and Lady Millais for the wife. It is now in the possession of Mr. T. H. Miller, of Preston.]
* Note the hint for bringing more of Nature into our common work, in the admirable modelling of the polar bear and lion, though merely children's toys.