[In this passage from Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Hunt . — George P. Landow.]
Expert clamour, influencing as it does Government judgment in art, frustrates the guidance of common sense. It certainly was not altogether fortunate in its decision as to the decorations of the Houses of Parliament. The process of fresco painting was relinquished because after a few years it was dis- covered that some of the pictures so painted scaled off; this was owing to the unsuspected presence of saline matter in the sand supplied for the intonico. The dampness of our climate was not wholly at fault, or it would have destroyed other frescoes executed at the same time. Silica or water-glass painting was substituted for Maclise's "Waterloo." The slow progress of the artists, largely due to the necessary suspension of work in winter, was adduced by Government as a reason for discontinuing the attempt, together with the claim of one painter, who appealed for double the amount originally agreed upon for his work. Whatever the reason for bringing the experiment to a close, I do not hesitate to affirm that "The Baptism of St. Ethelbert," by Dyce; the two water-glass paintings of "The Battle of Waterloo"; "The Battle of Trafalgar," by Maclise; and the paintings in the corridor illustrating events of the Commonwealth time, by Cope, are of a kind which, if executed in Italy centuries ago, would cause many amateur art pilgrims to wend their way thither. even had the work gone on, it is pretty certain that the one in which we were assailed by the press would have ieen a complete bar to the employment upon the mural work of either Millais, Rossetti, myself, our unaccredited convert Madox Brown, or any who were regarded as fighting under our standard. [II, 352]
Hunt, William Holman. Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1905.
Last modified 26 October 2012