The Chapel of the Charterhouse

The Chapel of the Charterhouse by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, R. A. (1849-1914). Photograph by Boussod, Valadon, & Cie of original oil painting. Source: Magazine of Art (1890), facing p. 228.

Commentary by M. H. Spielmann (1890)

As a painter of dramatic scenes Mr. Herkomer has, since his first appearance in the Royal Academy, seldom failed to touch the heart of the spectator. His themes have usually been sad in character; but, while always treating them with a sympathy that is intensely human, he invariably seeks to display, together with the pathos of sorrow, the dignity of suffering and the nobility of reverse. In all the pictures we readily call to mind that have appealed to us from the Academy walls, this has been the dominant note: in "The Last Muster" (which appeared in the first number of this volume), " Missing," after the loss of the Atalanta, "Rest," "The Arrest of the Poacher" — in these as well as in "The Chapel of the Charterhouse " which is before us, Mr. Herkomer has always struck the chord of pity. This distinctive quality of the painter's mind was doubtless borne in upun him through his own experiences; for it is through suffering that he has achieved his present position, and over reverse that he has triumphed. To the technical qualities of "The Charterhouse" I need not refer; I did that in reviewing the last Royal Academy Exhibition in these pages; but I would call attention to the manner in which the artist has shown us the noble side of failure in life, in this quiet haven for gentlemen whom the cruel tide of receding Fortune has left high and dry on the rocks, in the last hours of declining day. M. H. S. [p. 228]


Spielmann]., M. H."'The Chapel of the Charterhouse.' Painted by Hubert H. Herkomer, A.R.A" Magazine of Art (1890). London: Cassell and Company. Pp. 228 and facing.

Last modified 30 April 2007