Oscar Wilde pp 86-87 | Cite as

Aestheticism’s Apostle

  • E. H. Mikhail


Mr. Wilde kept pretty closely in his room at the Queen’s Hotel to-day. He takes his meals in his room. Shortly after noon, on the invitation of the Society of Artists, the apostle visited the exhibition of paintings in the Society’s rooms on King Street. The rooms were seldom so densely crowded since they were opened as they were at the moment the aesthete stepped into the room. He is certainly a striking figure. But the fact that he wore a pair of light inexpressibles instead of the knee-breeches, with which his name is so much associated, seemed to prove rather a disappointment. His hair is abundantly long; his manner is dignified; his voice is soft, and his speech that of the English aristocrat. He wore a garment over all which may be described as a toga, slung across his shoulders with a cord, in the manner of the cloak of a French marshal. On arriving, he was introduced by his agent to Mr. Martin and the other artist who were present. He has certainly a fine face of effeminate cast. His smile is sweetness and light itself. After the introductions, he addressed himself to inspecting the pictures. He was quite free in his criticisms, singling out both beauties and defects. Mr. Martin who acted as cicerone had to stand by and hear praise lavished on more than one of his own pictures. But Mr. H. R. Watson’s paintings took Mr. Wilde’s fancy ghost. He expressed great surprise when he learned the artist’s age and that he had never been to Paris. ‘He has the exact manner of the modern French artists.’


Evening News Original Title Great Surprise Mountain Climbing Exact Manner 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1979

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  • E. H. Mikhail

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