But that he still had time for his friends is seen in the account of a visit to Denmark Hill, written this year by James Smetham. "I walked there through the wintry weather, and got in about dusk.
James Smetham, the English artist, feeling keenly the imperfections of his training, formulated a plan of study combining art, literature, and the religious life, and devoted twenty-five years to working it out. Goethe spent more than sixty years in the process of developing himself harmoniously on all sides; and few men have wasted less time than he.
'Wilderspin' was Smetham with a variation: certain characteristics of another painter of genius were introduced, I believe, into the portrait of him in Aylwin; and the story of 'Wilderspin's' early life was not that of Smetham.
Rossetti used to say that since Blake there has been no more visionary painter in the art world than Smetham. I remember one or two extraordinary pictures of his especially one depicting a dragon in a fen, of which Rossetti had a great opinion; and I believe this, with other pictures of Smetham's, is in the hands of Mr. Watts-Dunton.