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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 30, February 24-26, 1855

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Identifier: DX03828196

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 30, February 24-26, 1855

Description: Describes a visit to the National Academy [Gallery] in London.


grovel before a titled customer. I had to speak of his [William Brown’s] brothers [Albert, Alfred, and George Brown], and mostly of Charley [Damoreau], anent whose change of name Mr B was not pleased. / Had a letter from Hannah [Bennett] this morning.

25. Sunday. A walk with Charley [Gunn] in the evening, calling on Mrs Stine & John Boutcher. Drizzly sloppy weather, mud plentiful, and circular ice masses melting on the filthy river.

26. Monday. Letter from Dick Bolton. Out, through a dim yellow mist and intermittent drizzle. Over Waterloo Bridge, and thence to the National Academy. Many pictures have been added to it, during the last five years, the veritable Pre-Raphealites being numerous. Their gaucherie and hideousness is scarcely redeemed by their simplicity. My visit was intended for [J.M.W.] Turners’ Building of Carthage, which according to the proviso in the Artist’s will, hangs beside the picture of Claude [Lorrain]’s, which it was painted, to rival. Turner’s is, as it ought to be, the finer work, yet I think it would never have existed by but for the glorious Frenchman. There’s a subtleness of conception, and a spiritually suggestive beauty about [word crossed out] our painter’s work which Claude’s lacks. The shimmer and dreamy splendor paired forth on the water is wonderful, the architecture questionable its location verging on the improbable, (not to say impossible,) the sky exquisite. Yet Claude is fresher, more ingenuous, with his blue leaping waves, his awkward architecture, and his indifferently drawn figures. Turner’s genious is noontide glory, Claude’s that of morning. There is more achievement, and also parade of it in the former, only joyous content with, and trust in, Nature, in the latter.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-02-24

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Art


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