In his entertaining account of the effect of Roger Fry and Clive Bell's first Post-Impressionist exhibition at London‘s Grafton Galleries in 1910, Hugh Kenner tells us that…..'more than four hundred people came everyday, and they thought Cézanne, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Derain, Matisse, Picasso “outrageous, anarchistic and childish". One English visitor got so hysterical he had to be led outside and walked. That unfortunate fellow - his name has been lost - saw a portent. A few square feet of colour, signed “Paul Cézanne,” had jarred his eyes open on something very unpleasant, something not to be put behind on merely leaving the gallery. Whole orders of former certainty were vanished. Irremediable novelty had leered in his face....... The nonsense raged for three months. A Dr. Hyslop gave his opinion that the painters were clinically insane; his speech about that drew enthusiastic applause. Old Wilfred Scawen Blunt (poet, diplomat, Arabist) wrote in his journal of “that gross puerility which scrawls indecencies on the walls of a privy”: words carrying the authority of a man who’d known seventy busy years of visiting privies, including the kind they have in Irish jails. The Times saw “a rejection of all that civilisation has done”. The man who’d had to be walked in the fresh air could blame his hysterics on Cézanne’s portrait of Mme Cézanne, of which he’d undergone the rude impact uncushioned by any words of Roger Fry…….'

                                             A Sinking Island, Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1996, pp 124- 27

Two years later Fry and Bell curated their Second Post-Impressionist exhibition at the Grafton Galleries to further but now more muted criticism. This time, to the paintings of Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso and Kandinsky in the Octagon, they added a room showing the 'modern' work of new British painters like Wyndham Lewis, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Henry Lamb. They included young Stanley's recently completed John Donne Arriving in Heaven. Stanley was naturally flattered, although he suspected that Fry valued it for its arresting style rather than for the more subtle qualities he had hoped would be appreciated.