Annual Exibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy have been held in the spring of each year since 1827. Works were for sale. The 1875 Exhibition opened on 13 February; it was reviewed by Frederick Wedmore in the Academy of 27 February.
The picture by Jacob van Ruysdael is ‘The Banks of a River’, now in the National Gallery of Scotland.
Appleton was the editor of the Academy, Grove of Macmillan’s Magazine.
[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 2, 365].
To Sidney Colvin [Colvin 1912, p. 108]
[Edinburgh, mid-February 1875.]
I say, we have a splendid picture here in Edinburgh. A Ruysdael of which one can never tire: I think it is one of the best landscapes in the world; a grey still day, a grey still river, a rough oak wood on one shore, on the other chalky banks with very complicated footpaths, oak woods, a field where a man stands reaping, church towers relieved against the sky and a beautiful distance, neither blue nor green. It is so still, the light is so cool and temperate, the river woos you to bathe in it. O I like it!
I say, I wonder if our Scottish Academy’s exhibition is going to be done at all for Appleton or whether he does not care for it. It might amuse me, although I am not fit for it.
Why and O why doesn’t Grove publish me? – Ever yours,