The Secret Love of Ford Madox Brown

TimesOnline has just published quite an interesting article by Angela Thirwell entitled The Secret Love of Ford Madox Brown:The King of the Pre-Raphaelites and his relationship with the feminist, Shelley-worshipping Mathilde Blind The article is fascinating. While I am quite familiar with his wife Emma, mainly through her friendship with Lizzie Siddal, I was unaware…
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Link Love: ‘Salutation of Beatrice’, Madox Brown’s grave, Elizabeth Siddal’s ‘True Love’

Via Dinah Roe’s twitter (@preraphsrule):  Audio.  Peter Brown, Director of Victorian & British Impressionist Art, Christie’s, discusses Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Salutation of Beatrice. Islington Tribune: Ford Madox Brown relative joins campaign to clean up Pre-Raphaelite artist’s grave Beautiful, moving, haunting.  Valerie Meachum reads Elizabeth Siddal’s poem ‘True Love’. (If you are reading this through…
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Emma Madox Brown

Artist Ford Madox Brown was a widower with a young daughter, Lucy. Although not officially a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he was closely involved with most of them, especially Rossetti. Emma began posing for Brown in 1848, the year the Brotherhood was formed. Romance blossomed and eventually the two unmarried lovers conceived a child….
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The Faces of Elizabeth Siddal

Elizabeth Siddal made great contributions to the Pre-Raphaelite movement; she appears in a number of important works.  After posing for Deverell, Holman Hunt, Millais, and Rossetti she bravely moved to the other side of the easel and became a Pre-Raphaelite artist in her own right.   She has fascinated me throughout my adulthood and today I’d…
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Celebrating Shakespeare

Happy Birthday to William Shakespeare, born on this day in 1564.  Today is also the anniversary of the Bard’s death.  Dare I say it?  Dying on your birthday is a dramatically Shakespearean thing to do. When a young group of artists founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 they drew up a list of ‘Immortals’, made…
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Aesthetic Vampirism

Literature is filled with fictional portraits. Visual art and the written word can intertwine in glorious ways. Dorian Gray’s mysteriously aging painting springs to mind and both the image of Lady Audley in Lady Audley’s Secret and descriptions of art in The Woman in White are excellent examples of Pre-Raphaelite principles used within a novel….
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May the Force Be With You

When Victorian artist Ford Madox Brown saw William Charles Macready play King Lear, the performance inspired the artist so much that he passionately sketched and painted several depictions of it. (You can see one above. Cordelia is modeled by Brown’s wife Emma, the fool is fellow artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.)  This is the kind of…
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#PRSbook

The Pre-Raphaelite Society is bringing their book club to Twitter! This is exciting news and I’m honored to be a part of it.  I hope you will read along with us and join in on what promises to be a great discussion.  I am especially happy that using a venue like Twitter will help open…
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Rossetti’s Models

Like his Pre-Raphaelite brethren, Dante Gabriel Rossetti used live models in his works.  Throughout the course of his career, the same faces grace his canvasses, ranging from family members to lovers.  Occasionally, models Elizabeth Siddal and Alexa Wilding are confused for each other. Other models may be misidentified completely. so this post is intended to…
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A Mother’s Exile

Georgiana Burne-Jones, wife of artist Edward Burne-Jones, was a devoted wife and mother.  Her love for her husband and children is obvious when reading any account of the Burne-Jones family.   Despite her joy at becoming a mother, Georgie poignantly described a sense of exile once she was no longer in the studio with her…
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#PRBday: The Faces of Elizabeth Siddal

Elizabeth Siddal made great contributions to the Pre-Raphaelite movement; she appears in a number of important works.  After posing for Deverell, Holman Hunt, Millais, and Rossetti she bravely moved to the other side of the easel and became a Pre-Raphaelite artist in her own right.   Since she has fascinated me throughout my adulthood, I think…
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Did Elizabeth Siddal inspire Bram Stoker?

In the early years of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, artist Walter Deverell discovered Elizabeth Siddal working in a millinery shop.  After modeling for his painting Twelfth Night, Siddal posed for several Pre-Raphaelite painters, including William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.  It was the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was captivated by her. He drew and…
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Freddie Mercury and the madness of Richard Dadd

Richard Dadd is a Victorian artist that both shocks and fascinates me.  He demonstrated a great talent for drawing early in life and entered the Royal Academy at age twenty. He founded The Clique with fellow artists Augustus Egg, Alfred Elmore, William Powell Frith, Henry Nelson O’Neil, John Phillip and Edward Matthew Ward. Which means that…
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The Unrequited Love of Dante and Beatrice

In reality, Dante loved Beatrice from a distance and they had little to no contact with one another. The  real Beatrice Portinari probably never had any idea of the depth of his passion for her.  Yet she was to become one of literature’s most famous figures. Dante Alighieri first saw and fell in love with Beatrice…
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Alas, poor Wombat…

This week marks the birth of William Shakespeare, so in celebration I shared several Pre-Raphaelite and Shakespeare related links on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page and Twitter.  I even posted my own “Yorick selfie”. “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on…
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Pre-Raphaelites and the Bard

If you are looking for Shakespeare inspiration today, you are in luck!  Visit happybirthdayshakespeare.com for a large collective of bloggers sharing posts in honor of the day! At the end of this post, you will find links to other Pre-Raphaelite images of Shakespearean works on PreRaphaeliteSisterhood.com. In celebration of the Bard’s birthday, here’s my favorite Shakespearean…
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Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites

Alice in Wonderland has a strong hold on our popular culture.  Over a century has passed since it and the sequel Through the Looking Glass were written and Alice’s strange journeys charm us still.  How many times can we reinterpret this book on screen?  It seems to be an endless source of inspiration and the…
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Popular Posts

This page is a work in progress. Please use the search function at the bottom of the page if looking for a specific topic. Pre-Raphaelite Artists and Models: Pre-Raphaelite Marriages: Ruskin, Effie, and Millais Pre-Raphaelite Marriages: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal Jane Morris: An Enigmatic Muse Victorian author Henry James describes Jane Morris Elizabeth…
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Shades of Dante

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Victorian poet, painter and co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, grew up in the shadow of Dante Alighieri.  Although he lived several centuries before, Medieval poet Alighieri was a permanent fixture in the Rossetti household. Rossetti’s father, Professor Gabriele Rossetti, was an Italian expatriate who came to London in 1824. He was a…
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Forbidden Fruit

Mauvais Sujet is not your stereotypical, chocolate-box-pretty Victorian portrait.  She’s almost uncomfortable to look at, as she is both very young and very sensual. On her desk you can see her name, Mary, scrawled in a childlike hand.  The childish scrawl is a direct contrast to her adult, knowing look.  I think it’s safe for us…
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What is the “Pre-Raphaelite Woman”?

Women are central figures in Pre-Raphaelite art and this has given us the concept of a “Pre-Raphaelite Woman”. I frequently see the term ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ in occasional news articles, usually describing an actress or singer with long curly hair.  Florence Welch is often described as Pre-Raphaelite and it’s definitely a look she has embraced. But was there…
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