Maclise's Character-Portraits

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871 April 15
Genre: art criticism


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1911.

Scholarly Commentary


This is DGR's interesting evaluation of the work of the historical painter and portraitist Edward Maclise (1806-1870), who had recently died. As DGR makes explicit, his “immediate subject” is not so much with Maclise's work in general as “with an early and subordinate, though not ephemeral, product of his powers. I allude to the long series of character-portrait— chiefly drawn on stone with a lithographic pen, but in other instances more elaborately etched or engraved—which he con- tributed (under the pseudonym of ‘Alfred Croquis’) to Fraser's Magazine between the years 1830 and 1838.” However, the essay amounts to a comprehensive assessment because Maclise's greatest work was indeed exhibited in these lithographs so shrewdly anatomized by DGR.

Textual History: Composition

The manuscript is not forthcoming. However, WMR dates the essay 1870, though it was not published until the following year, a few months after Maclise's death.

Printing History

The essay was first printed in the Academy (15 April 1871) and first collected in 1911.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 36p-1870.raw.xml