Miss Beatrice Buckstone


Beatrice Buckstone posed for three of Millais’ works.   She was the granddaughter of actor/comedian John Baldwin Buckstone.  Finding Shakespeare has an interesting post showing Buckstone’s guestbook signature on his visit to the Bard’s birthplace, along with biographical information about the actor.  Millais’ son wrote about her in The Life and Letters of Sir John…
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101 years ago today, Jane Morris died

'Proserpine', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Today marks the anniversary of Jane Morris’ death 101 years ago. Wife of William Morris, she was immortalized on canvas repeatedly by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Here’s the post I wrote last year: 100 years after her death, Jane Morris continues to inspire. Also written last year, The Hour Glass: On Jane Morris and Aging. A…
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#WombatFriday News, Links

Rossetti's Wombat Seated in his Master's Lap 1871 by William Bell Scott 1811-1890

Happy #WombatFriday! You can follow Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood on Facebook or Twitter. Posts at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood this week included Veronica Veronese and Aspecta Medusa, both by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Kirsty Stonell Walker reviewed the catalogue for Art & Soul: Victorians and the Gothic.  And took a look at Selfies and self portraits. The William Morris Gallery is…
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To See the Gorgon’s Head


Medusa was once a beautiful maiden who was transformed by Athena into a Gorgon.  Of all three Gorgons, Medusa alone was mortal.  Her hair was a mass of writhing serpents.  One look upon her face would turn you to stone. Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, avoided Medusa’s deadly gaze by viewing her reflection in…
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Veronica Veronese


“The girl is in a sort of passionate reverie, and is drawing her hand listlessly along the strings of a violin which hangs against the wall, while she holds the bow with the other hands, as if arrested by the thought of the moment, when she was about to play.  In color, I shall make…
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#WombatFriday Links


  It’s Wombat Friday!  Our hero the Wombat can be seen here with William Holman Hunt’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil.  You can see it and other versions of Isabella in Love, Death, Potted Plants. This week was the anniversary of Agatha Christie’s death, so here’s a post at The Kissed Mouth about Agatha…
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Embrace the Night


The day has its own bright beauty. Morning may bring the possibility of a new beginning, but at night, everything slows down and the world takes on a different mood.  Night wears a deeper hue, things become varying shades of blues and purples.  It’s a slower form of beauty.  Introspective and melancholy. Is it any wonder…
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King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid


Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ painting King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid is based on the story of an African King who had never felt any attraction towards women until he spotted a beggar woman. In this tale of love at first sight, King Cophetua declares that despite her low social standing, she will be his queen….
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Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth

Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, John Singer Sargent

Today marks the birthday of John Singer Sargent in 1856. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite works of his, Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth.  Victorian actress Ellen Terry fascinates me and in a previous blog post about her memoirs, I shared her own words on the Lady Macbeth costume, which I…
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Pre-Raphaelite work spotted in Seinfeld


I’ve added a new entry to the Unexpected Sightings page. ‘Reverie’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti can be seen in the background of NBC sitcom  Seinfeld.  This is Mr. Pitt’s apartment, where the character Elaine works as Mr. Pitt’s personal assistant.  Sixth episode of the sixth season of Seinfeld, titled ‘The Gymnast’.   To see Pre-Raphaelite…
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Victorian Representations of Cleopatra

'Cleopatra', John William Waterhouse (1888)

Although not technically a Pre-Raphaelite, it is obvious that the work of John William Waterhouse was heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite style.  His Cleopatra is reminiscent of Rossetti’s half-length portraits, complete with the unwavering gaze of a stunner.  He portrays her seated on her throne in a position of power rather than choosing to illustrate…
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‘Mariana’, Sir John Everett Millais

'Mariana', Sir John Everett Millais

When Millais first exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy, he displayed it with these lines of Tennyson: She only said, ‘My life is dreary- He cometh not’ she said She said ‘I am aweary, aweary – I would that I were dead.’ –From Tennyson’s poem Mariana The subject of Mariana was visited twice by…
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I stretch my hands and catch at Hope

'Pandora' (detail), Dante Gabriel Rossetti

According to myth, after Prometheus stole fire from the gods, Zeus wanted to punish mankind. He ordered Hephaistos and other gods to create a woman that they would endow with gifts and beauty. Hephaistos created her lovely form; the Four Winds breathed life into her. Her beauty was given to her by Aphrodite. Zeus bestowed…
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Burne-Jones on Portraiture

Photogravure of a portrait of Edward Burne-Jones by his son Philip Burne-Jones, 1898

I am guilty of often overlooking Burne-Jones’ portrait work in favor of his narrative paintings.  However, this morning I read a passage in which his wife discusses the artist’s opinions of the use of expression in his portraits: Another portrait painted this year, that of Miss Fitzgerald, a young American girl.  The art of portraiture…
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