OIL PAINTING: A Summer's Day, 1886
Stott exhibited A Summer's Day in 1886 at the Society of British Artists, which was dominated by Whistler. With its broad sweeps of unmodulated colour, aesthetic harmony and distribution of the figures, it very much embodied Whistler's advocacy of abstract values. There is an ambiguous, Symbolist sensibility to Stott's painting, prefiguring the direction his art would take in the next decade.
Critical reactions to Stott's large canvas were almost all negative. The Athenaeum, intriguingly, may have confused it with seeing Harrison's picture in Paris: "A Summer's Day ... we saw at the Salon with very mixed feelings. Now that it is hung closer the eye its defects are more visible, and attest the painter's audacity, while it makes us regret more than ever his willfulness in this triffling with his public", 1886. The Magazine of Art judged "his representation of the naked boys, grouped with unnecessary contempt for harmony of line in a vast expanse of sand ... cannot be pronounced successful".