Walter H(owell). Deverell


Contributions to The Germ:

The Light Beyond [correctly "The Sight Beyond"]

A Modern Idyl

Not much is known about Deverell, though during his brief life he managed to contract a close friendship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who mused in a letter to Thomas Woolner: "our friendship has been long enough to make me now feel old in looking back to its source, and yet if I live even to middle age, his death will seem to me a grief of my youth."

Deverell was admitted to the Antique School of the Royal Academy in December 1846. In 1848 he became the assistant master of the Government School of Design, where his father was secretary. Around 1848 he co-founded the Cyclographic Society, a group that circulated among members drawings and sketches for critique. The group included all of the future Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with the exception of William Michael Rossetti. Little is known about the Cyclographic Society, which dissolved by September 1848.

Suggested as a replacement Pre-Raphaelite Brother following Collinson's defection, Deverell remained a particular friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti after the Germ and the PRB had sunk "into desuetude," sharing a studio in Red Lion Square January-May 1851. Meanwhile, the legend goes, Deverell spotted in 1850 in a milliner's shop an exceptionally attractive assistant named Elizabeth Siddal, who, among other things, soon afterward posed for his "Twelfth Night," one of the nine pictures he exhibited. At his 1853 Liverpool exhibition Hunt and Millais purchased a piece called "The Pet."

Ironically, William Michael Rossetti recalled in 1899, "if there was one man who, more than others, could be called the 'pet' of the whole circle, it was Deverell."