Our Critic among the Pictures

Mr. E. J. Poynter’s “Siren” (509). William S. Gilbert. Engraving. Fun (1864). Courtesy of the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Click on image to enlarge it.

Mr. E. J. Poynter’s “Siren” (509) is a pretty figure, with a deal of uninteresting rock-work in the background, and a horizon on tho fourth floor. It is principally remarkable for the alternate green and blue shades which Mr. Poynter has dispersed all over tho picture. The rocks are blue, the water is green, the drapery that protects the Siren from scratching herself on the uncomfortable pcriwinkly rock in the foreground on which she is sitting, is blue, and tho young lady’s petticoat is green.

The cartoon is signed with the initials “W.S.G.” at the lower left. This is the Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame who I assume also wrote the savage critical commentaries that appeared in the right column beside the picture and on the following page. (To read more of these commentaries, which parody periodical reviews of the Royal Academy and other exhibitions, click on the other individual items in the list below.) — George P. Landow

Criticism of individual paintings

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“Our Critic among the Pictures.” Fun. (14 May 1864): 83-84.

Last modified 2 March 2016