In his preface to the 1901 facsimile edition of The Germ, William Michael Rossetti includes a long introduction to "A Dialogue on Art."
The bracketed introduction in The Germ preceding this essay was written by DGR, who included within it Orchard's own explication of his project. As Orchard notes, the names of the characters in the dialogue function allegorically. Thus Kalon ("beauty" or "goodness") represents concern for external beauty, Kosmon ("universe") represents concern for worldliness and order, and Sophon ("wisdom") represents concern for learning and knowledge. Christian transcends the wisdom of these ancients; he combines their more pragmatic arguments with an insistence upon religious morality.