Art: Vile Caricature

One of the few art museums in the world which admittedly doesn't insist on good art is London's National Portrait Gallery. When Queen Victoria opened the Portrait Gallery 90 years ago, the trustees were warned never to "consider great faults and errors, even though admitted on all sides, as any sufficient ground for excluding any portrait which may be valuable as illustrating the history of the country."

As if to proclaim its charter, the Gallery last week put on exhibition 50 newly acquired portraits. One was a sketch by John Keats (see cut) of Painter Benjamin Haydon, which Keats himself described as...

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