Cavalier Critic -Digital Collage

Quentin Hargrove, the Cavalier Critic was a fixture of the British art scene of the mid 1880s. Charging through galleries on horseback, he took in at glimpses a show's highlights and low points, rendering assessments and scalding critiques dashed off while astride his stallion. Though widely read, he was not universally loved, especially by gallery owners who found his excursions disruptive and deplored cleaning up after the horse. Dismissive of academy artists, he was an early champion of Whistler only to grow disenchanted with the painter's later works which he found too abstract. It was at this point he crossed swords with the young Irish upstart, Oscar Wilde and despite penning his share of amusing acerbic commentaries, he proved no match for Wilde's rapier wit. In time his writing fell out of favor and the horse came down with hoof and mouth. Shortly thereafter he retired to Dorset where he lived out his days writing the occasional review for the British Journal of Large Animal Veterinary Medicine.