Gillie and Hound. Marble. Alexander Munro (1825-1871). Source: “Dublin International Exhibition.” Illustrated London News. (19 August 1865): 177. Online version provided by the Internet Archive.

According to the article accompanying the illustration, the group depicts a boy and a

stag-hound, as the pair swiftly yet stealthily advance, eyeing the game and waiting only for the crack of the rifle and the signal for pursuit. This composition is a considerable variation, not only as regards the character of the youth and hound, hut also as regards the action of both; and a different idea had, of course, to be expressed. Of the spirit arid animation with which the sculptor has treated his theme, and the suggestive ness of movement in both figures, our Engraving may give an idea. We will only add a word on “the handling” of the dog's coat and the chiseling and undercutting of the ferns, foxgloves, and thick undergrowth through which this sporting couple are struggling. These portions, then, are indicated rather than imitated with the minute precision of the Italians. But this, we think—if such textures and objects are to be admitted at all as proper for representation in marble—is the proper limit for representation. To attempt to suggest more than the general “look of the think" is almost certain to convey an impression of labour and of the inadequacy of the material, so true is the paradox in art that “a part is often greater than the whole.”

Such comments about the degree to which minute detail is acceptable in fine art parallels the discussions of such matters in Pre-Raphaelite painting. — George P. Landow


> Last modified 9 September 2011