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H. Spicer, London, to Mr. Humphry, English Coffee House, Rome

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code



H. Spicer, London, to Mr. Humphry, English Coffee House, Rome


9 Jan 1774



Extent & medium

1 piece

Content Description

He gave Mrs. White £5, interest on the money he borrowed from Humphry, Mr Carwardine has since given him the full £15; Mrs. W. and Humphry's "little Godson" are both well, she sends her regards is grateful for the extra assistance; little Tomey has been innoculated, his mother has just started sending him to school.

He has improved in the art of enamel painting; he has painted the Duke of Northumberland's picture; he is unable to pay all the money Humphry wishes as his debts are to be settled; he has also had trouble in seperating from a woman, giving her a £40 allowance; he has gave Humphry's picture to [William Humphry] a month after Ozias left London, he sees Humphry's brother often.

The exhibition [of the Society of Artists] is the worst ever; Wright of Darby, who should be with Humphry by now, has three good pictures, but not equal to his best; they are indebted to Mr. Marlow, his 'Eruption of Vesuvius' was of particular note; Stubbs had nine pictures, not equal to his best; they had a huge historical work by Nevay, 'Aggripina landing...', Guido [critic] wrote on it, more than it merited; van Os had two fine flower-pieces; Turner was savaged by Guido; Brumton had a head of the Earl of Chatham; Mortimer had only a couple of pen and ink drawings; Carter had ten pictures, Lord Melbourne bought two.

Continues to describe the Royal Academy exhibition; Sir Joshua Reynolds had twelve fine pictures; West ten, some fine; Barry had a huge 'Jupiter and Juno', although he thinks Barry mistakes largeness for greatness, Guido was very severe; the 'Royalists' put on a very good show.

The Incorporated Society is in very bad shape, Gilpin is now President; he fears Stubbs will not exhibit any more; for himself he proposes exhibiting at the 'Royl' next year.