Return to On the Mechanism of a Historical Picture
(MAJOR ROBERT) CALDER CAMPBELL (1798-1857) II. "Sonnet" (poem) Campbell retired from the Indian army in 1839, and was introduced to the Rossettis in 1847 by Alexander Munro. He was a minor writer who contributed to literary annuals and published 3 volumes of poems, a novel, and his memoirs. He was DGR's first literary mentor, and was responsible for the cult of Keats among the PRB's. Besides encouraging DGR's writing, Campbell was instrumental in securing WMR his post (as an unpaid picture reviewer) at the _Critic_. Yet WMR wrote in _Family Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti_: To pretend that he was an author of high mark, or capable of something greatly better than what he gave forth, would be futile; but he was a lively writer in a minor way, an amusing chatty talker, who had seen many things here and there, and knew something of the world, and a straightforward, most unassuming gentleman, whose society could do nothing but good to a youth like Rossetti. (110-111) Perhaps his role in the _Germ_ can be summed up by the 15 November 1849 description of "Calder Campbell, who offers his services for our magazine, and will hunt up subscribers."
JAMES COLLINSON (1825?-April 1881) II. "The Child Jesus" (poem & etching) Collinson was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire to a bookseller. A student at the Royal Academy school, he exhibited "The Charity Boy's Debut" there in 1847, attracting the friendship of DGR and later William Holman Hunt. Collinson was one of the original seven PRB, but having recently embraced Catholicism he grew disinterested in art, and resigned shortly after the demise of the _Germ_. He retreated to Stonyhurst, where he lived in seclusion until his 1854 marriage to a friend of J. R. Herbert, RA. Collinson resumed painting, but his subjects were of a domestic and humorous character. He continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, and the Society of British Artists (of which he was a fellow until 1880). According to WMR, Collinson was one of CGR's two suitors (the other was Charles Bagot Cayley, a translator of Dante). Ostensibly CGR rejected him on religious grounds. At any rate, this broken engagement and Collinson's defection angered WMR to expunging him from _The PRB Journal_. While his July 1850 letter of resignation is printed there, WMR's resentment is evident in his list of the PRB's original seven members: "Hunt, Millais, Dante and William Rossetti, Stephens, Woolner, and another."
WALTER H(OWELL). DEVERELL (1827-1854)
II. "The Light Beyond" [correctly "The Sight Beyond"] (poem)
IV. "A Modern Idyl" (poem)
Not much is known about Deverell, though during his brief life he managed to contract a close friendship with DGR: "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. Ca.1848 co-founded the Cyclographic Society, a group that circulated among members drawings and sketches for critique. The group included all of the future PRB, with the exception of WMR. Little is known about the Cyclographic Society, which dissolved by September 1848. He remained a particular friend of DGR after the _Germ_ and the PRB had sunk "into desuetude", sharing a studio in Red Lion Square January-May 1851.
Meanwhile, in 1850 he spotted in a milliner's shop an exceptionally attractive assistant called Elizabeth Siddal, who among other things soon afterwards posed for his "Twelfth Night", among the 9 pictures he exhibited. Holman Hunt and Millais purchased at the 1853 Liverpool exhibition a piece called "The Pet".
Ironically, WMR recalled in 1899: "if there was one man who, more than others, could be called the 'pet' of the whole circle, it was Deverell." [From an unpublished Huntington MS entitled "The P.R.B. and Walter Howell Deverell. Letters from Dante Gabriel Rossetti & Others. With a Narrative and Illustrations. Prefaced by William Michael Rossetti." This was compiled by Mrs Frances Deverell, widow of his brother, Wykeham. Apparently WMR contributed a preface out of sympathy.]
JOHN ORCHARD (?-23 March 1850)
IV. "A Dialogue [on Art]" (essay); "On a Whit-Sunday Morn in the Month of May" (poem)
Very little is known about Orchard, and only the PRB's materials provide any clue about him. He was apparently a painter who actively sought the attention of the PRB. But according to WMR:
"In our circle he was unknown; but, conceiving a deep admiration for Rossetti's first exhibited picture (1849) 'Girlhood of Mary Virgin', he wrote to him, enclosing a sonnet upon the picture -- a very bad sonnet in all executive respects, and far from giving promise of the spirited, if unequal poetic treatment which we find in the lines in 'The Germ'..."
Yet even of "On a Whit-Sunday Morn...", WMR reserves praise: "it is generally good, but requires not a little revision" (_PRB Journal_, 14 January 1850). "A Dialogue" won the admiration of DGR, Stephens, and Tupper, as "seeming to out-PRB the PRB" (_PRBJ_, 20 March 1850).
Orchard's obscurity is such that the most prominent record of his death is WMR's: "A letter came telling Gabriel of the death of Orchard on Saturday.... *If* I could get at sufficient materials, I should like to write a notice of him in _The Critic_ [emphasis mine]" (26 March 1850).
COVENTRY PATMORE (23 July 1823-26 November 1896) I. [anonymous] "The Seasons" (poem) II. [anonymous] "Stars and the Moon" (poem) III. [anonymous] "Macbeth" (essay) Patmore was born in Woodford, Essex, to Peter George Patmore and Eliza Robertson. Before marriage his father was a dandy and agnostic, and as Peter George's private pupil, Coventry enjoyed (?) an unconventional upbringing. His mother was expressly forbidden from giving him any religious education, and his paternal grandmother taught him to recite "Coventry is a clever boy"! Alas, his parents were forced to leave England because of speculations in railway shares, and the clever boy was forced to support himself by writing. His 1844 _Poems_ received mixed reviews, but he lived by writing for periodicals and translating. A steady income was secured when in 1846 he was appointed assistant librarian at the British Museum, enabling him to marry Emily Augusta Andrews (11 September 1847). He based his most famous work, _Angel in the House_ (1858), on her. _Angel_ enjoyed critical acclaim as well as sales upward of 250,000 copies. In fact, it rivalled Tennyson's _Idylls_ (1859). (You'll recall Virginia Woolf's admiration of it in "Professions for Women"!) Via _Angel_ Patmore styled himself "the psychologist of love", as evidenced by his early and oft-stated ability to "discern sexual impurity and virginal purity, the one as the tangible blackness and horror of hell, and the other as the very blessed of heaven, and the flower and consummation of love between man and woman". Emily's death (in July 1862, after a long illness and six kids) caused Patmore to withdraw from society. _Garland_, a family project in which she played a prominent role, was roundly panned. Patmore left for Italy, where he converted to Roman Catholicism. His 1865 marriage (to the very wealthy Marianne Byles) enabled him to retire from the British Museum, though he continued writing. His 1877 _The Unknown Eros_, which he believed "*the* finest metre that ever was invented, and *the* finest mine of wholly unworked material that ever fell to the lot of an English poet", shocked and offended critics; as a result he collected and burned all the copies he could find. To the dismay of Patmore, who had fancied himself a prophet who could sing, Swinburne's musicality completely eclipsed this "finest metre". As for the PRB, their "List of Immortals" awarded him one star, putting him in company with Boccaccio, Fra Angelico, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Raphael, and Tennyson. (Only Jesus received as many as four stars.) Patmore was a particular friend to Woolner, and it was he who urged Ruskin to defend the PR's.
WILLIAM BELL SCOTT (1811-1890) II. "Morning Sleep" (poem) III. "Sonnet: Early Aspirations" (poem) The seventh child of Robert and Ross Bell Scott, William's four eldest brothers died in an 1807 epidemic, making him what he called the "family victim". Yet the breadth and quantity of his artistic and literary output (never mind its quality) indicate intense ambition. Educated at the local high school, he learned engraving, and before age 20 had published _Views of Loch Katrine and Adjacent Scenery_, a collection of 8 engravings. Though not a university student, Bell Scott entered the ranks of Edinburgh U's St. Luke's Club (1832-3). In 1843 he convinced the Board of Trade to offer him the founding headmastership in the Government School of Design at Newcastle. Plagued by administrative problems, he left for the Department of Practical Art under Sir Henry Cole in 1851. Meanwhile, his "Rosabell" and "A Dream of Love" (published in the February and March issues of Leigh Hunt's _Monthly Repository_), and his 1846 _The Year of the World_, had inspired DGR to seek his friendship. Bell Scott's 1838 "Hades", a tedious imitation of Shelley's "Alastor", would throw DGR "into a state of uneasy excitement". DGR expressed his admiration in an 1847 letter, and soon began submitting poems for his approval, among them "The Blessed Damozel" and "My Sister's Sleep". According to Fredeman's entry in the _DLB_, this acquaintance marked a renaissance in Bell Scott's life and work, as evidenced in his sonnet, "To the Artists called PRB". (By the way, "Rosabell" is a blank-verse narrative of a meeting with an Edinburgh prostitute, depicted at ten stages in her life -- from age 8 to her premature death. According to Holman Hunt, DGR often ranted on its "pathetic strains" at PRB meetings. Besides Rossetti, _The Year of the World_ impressed Emerson, and apparently no one else.) The other important liaison of Bell Scott's life began in 1859, when he met Alice Boyd. With her and Letitia Norquoy (his wife), he had a 26- year menage a trois. DGR spent the summers of 1868 and 1869 with Bell Scott and Boyd at her home, Penkill Castle. It was there that he decided to take up poetry again after Elizabeth Siddal's death. Through DGR, Bell Scott became the main emotional influence on CGR's life (v. Lona Mosk Packer's study on him). According to WMR, he explored the deepest mysteries of life, death, and religion, of ethnic and christian dogma". He also cut a figure among the other PRB's, though not always favorably. Swinburne abhorred Bell Scott, dubbing him "the Parasite of the North", and even after his death, dismissed him as "a man whose name would never be heard, whose verse would never have been read, whose daubs would never have been seen, outside some Lilliput of the North, but for his casual and parasitic association with the Trevelyans, the Rossettis, and Myself." Well!
FREDERIC GEORGE STEPHENS (1828-1907)
II. [as "John Seward"] "The Purpose and Tendency of Early Italian Art"
IV. [as "Laura Savage"] "Modern Giants" (essay)
One of the PRB's two "nonartistic" members, Stephens did dabble in painting, these attempts dating 1848-1850. He was rather fond of declaring that he had destroyed *all* his paintings, but three of them are at the Tate today. Anyhow, he quickly turned to art criticism, eventually serving as art editor for the _Athenaeum_. He produced monographs and catalogues of most of the artistic personalities of the day, including Reynolds, Cruikshank, William Mulready, Bewick, Alma-Tadema, Gainsborough, Edwin Landseer, Palmer, Van Dyke, etc. In the _Art Journal_ and _Portfolio_, and in his capacity as art critic for the _Critic_, he also wrote studies of Holman Hunt, Millais, Woolner, Ford Madox Brown, and Burne-Jones. In 1894 he brought out _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_, a study. With Theodore Watts-Dutton, he wrote DGR's obituary in the 15 April 1882 _Athenaeum (pp.480-482).
According to _The PRB Journal_ Stephens had been working on a political sonnet for the first number of the _Germ_. As of 13 October 1849 he had completed 11 1/2 lines, which Collinson had pronounced "the best of all". By 12 November it had "attained the length of 12 lines, with a reservation of a tremendous idea for the final two." Apparently this tremendous idea never met its completion.
Note that Stephens's two _Germ_ pieces appear under pseudonyms. In May 1851 he submitted "Griselda" to the RA under an assumed name. According to WMR, "Stephens called on him [DGR] in the evening, when it was determined that the Author's names [sic] shall be published in future numbers" (27 January 1850, _PRB Journal_). No reason has been established for Stephens's insistence on anonymity. What a pity he didn't finish his sonnet for the first _Germ_, which appeared anonymously.
JOHN LUCAS TUPPER (1826?-1879)
I. [anonymous] "The Subject in Art (No. 1)" (essay); [anonymous] "A Sketch from Nature" (poem)
III. [anonymous] "The Subject in Art, No. II" (essay); [anonymous] "The Papers of 'The M.S. Society'" No. I (poem), No. II (essay?), No. III (essay?)
IV. [anonymous] "Viola and Olivia" (poem); [anonymous] "The Papers of 'The M.S. Society'" No. IV (poem), No. V (poem)
Tupper studied sculpture at the Royal Academy schools, where he met Holman Hunt and Stephens. He was employed as an anatomical designer at Guy's Hospital when WMR met him.
From 1865 to his death he served as drawing master at Rugby. As "Outis" he published _The True Story of Mrs Stowe_ (about Byron), and _Hiatus, or the Void in Modern Education_. In 1871 he published an article on Woolner in the _Portfolio_.
John Lucas was the brother of George and Alexander Tupper, managers of the firm that printed the _Germ_. WMR describes him as "a very capable and conscientious man, quite as earnest after truth in form and presentment as any PRB, learned in his department of art, and with a real gift for poetry." (See also _Poems of the Late John Lucas Tupper_, ed WMR (London, 1897.) Brother George helped finance the _Germ_ after the first two numbers and even contributed "The Papers of 'The M.S. Society'" Nos. II & III; as late as 1852 he was still trying to recoup losses on the _Germ_.
THOMAS WOOLNER (17 December 1825-1895) I. "My Beautiful Lady" (poem, accompanied by Holman Hunt etching) "Of My Lady in Death" (poem) II. "O When and Where" (poem) III. "Emblems" (poem) Woolner was born to Thomas and Rebecca (nee Leeks) Woolner in Suffolk. He was educated at Ipswich and at the age of 12 studied sculpture with William Behnes. In December 1842, at the age of 17, he exhibited a model of "Eleanor sucking the Poison from the arm of Prince Edward" at the Royal Academy. By the time he met DGR in 1847 he had won the 1845 Society of Arts medal for "Affection", a model of a women and 2 children, and the Academy exhibition for his bas-relief "Alastor" was well-received. His bronze model of Puck attracted the attention of Tennyson, to whom he was later introduced by Patmore, and who became the subject of two famous busts. His acquaintance with DGR escalated to membership in the PRB, but despite "My Beautiful Lady", Woolner averred to Bell Scott that "poetry is not my proper work in this world; I must sculpture it, not write it." Yet his success in sculpture and medallion portraiture did not yield much financial reward, prompting him to try his luck in the Australian goldfields. When he sailed for Melbourne on 24 July 1852 the Rossettis, Holman Hunt, and Ford Madox Brown accompanied him on board. Alas, the Australian jaunt proved unsuccessful, and Woolner returned to England in October 1854, seeking a commission for a statue of William Charles Wentworth, the father of Australian self-government. Failing that he continued with busts of distinguished men. In 1857 his Trinity College Tennyson was completed. He executed a bearded Tennyson in 1873. His medallion of Wordsworth (now at Grasmere Church), among others, is credited with restoring the art of medallion portraiture. In 1871 he was made an associate of the Royal Academy, and made academician in 1874. Despite his pre-Australia remarks regarding poetry, Woolner fleshed out "My Beautiful Lady" (in _Germ_ 1) with blank verse and couplets -- to almost unbearable length -- in an eponymous volume in 1863. _Pygmalion_ (1881), _Silenus_ (1884), _Tiresias_ (1886), and _Poems_ (1887) round out his literary oeuvre. Doubtless such poetry contributed to Fredeman's assessment of him as "the most minor of all the Pre-Raphaelites" (_Pre- Raphaelitism_, 149).