Art Criticism

One evening, sitting outside the Café de la Paix with Oscar Wilde, we were joined at our table by Caton Woodville, the war correspondent. He was something of a Münchhausen, and liked to boast of his exploits. He had recently been painting a picture for Queen Victoria — I forget what the subject was — in which the Queen herself was portrayed. When it was finished, he received a command to take it to Windsor. He described how Her Majesty entered the room, went up to the picture, examined it carefully in silence and then walked towards the door. As she opened the door she turned round and said coldly, ‘We are redder than that, Mr Woodville,’ and swept out.

— William Rothenstein, Men and Memories: Recollections, Vol. I (1872-1900), 1931