OIL PAINTING: The Chosen Five, 1885
Long had taken what could easily have been a prurient scene and treated it with detachment and dignity as a depiction of serious studio practice, something most reviewers commented upon. The women have a statuesque quality, and Long allowed himself little painterly sensuousness in technique. The critic of the World wrote: "the academic atmosphere throws, as it were, a veil over those undisguised humanities which should, | think, tend to keep them pure in the mind of Mrs Boyn from the category of "hussies" , while the Standard praised "the interest of Zeuxis buckling seriously to the task, minutely observant, as only the trained eye can be, of every excellent or characteristic contour, and the steadiness of the model is well expressed, and the pose of the girl who looks from behind, and leans back, half reclining as she looks, has a singular grace and charm. The painting, too, is of brilliant and solid quality. There is a large public whom these canvases may rightly fascinate. Long lent the subject further seriousness by painting a quasi- archaeological vision of the Greek painter's studio. In the background are classical statues which include the famous Dancing Faun.