Blackwood's Magazine, October 1836

The attack on three paintings by Turner - Juliet and her Nurse, Rome from Mount Aventine, and Mercury and Argus - by the critic, the Reverend John Eagles, in his review of the Royal Academy Exhibition for Blackwood's Magazine in October 1836, is substantially reproduced in Works, 3.636-37n.

Eagles began this review with an attack on 'modern artists' who 'delight in glare and glitter, foil and tinsel', in contrast with the old masters who 'delighted in shade and depth'. He continued:

We should be almost inclined to believe that there was some truth in the remark we have often heard, that there is no use in painting other than the lightest pictures for the London Galleries, which are said to be half the year obscured by our fogs, did we not, in addition to a dislike to this malevolent satire upon our climate, see in the numerous collections of fine Italian masters in our metropolis a contradiction to the assertion; nor can we conceive such an argument of more avail now than in the days of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Wilson and Gainsborough, from whose depth of tone, and indeed from that of every known school previous to our day, we are departing with a speed and haste that bespeak an antipathy to excellence, not originating in ourselves. Our enmity to this false English School of Art shall never cease; we have taken out "letters of marque" to "sink, burn, and destroy" - and we will wage perpetual warfare with extravagant absurdities, though they be sanctioned by the whim of genius, academical authority, or the present encouragement of foolish admirers. (p. 543)