“Go to nature in all singleness of heart”

In Modern Painters, John Ruskin urged artists to “go to nature in all singleness of heart… rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing; believing all things to be right and good, and rejoicing always in the truth.” The Pre-Raphaelites and their followers took this advice to heart. In Millais’ Ophelia, for example, we can see … Read more

Notre Dame Still Stands

In 1855, Elizabeth Siddal visited Paris on a journey funded by her patron, art critic John Ruskin. I’ve often wondered what the experience was like for her. She had gone through so many thrilling changes in her life at this point, from shop girl to artist’s model, to gliding effortlessly to the other side of … Read more

Evelyn De Morgan Centenary Symposium

Celebrate Evelyn De Morgan’s centenary. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite. Learn more at the De Morgan Foundation. Evelyn De Morgan was a radical Victorian artist who defied her gender and upper-class upbringing to become a commercially successful, professional artist. Her style develops from Neo-Classical, Italian Renaissance influenced work, which she was taught at the Slade School … Read more

The Artist’s Soul

‘See me, and know me as I am.’   At the age of twenty-one, Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote the short story Hand and Soul, which was published in The Germ, a short-lived magazine created by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Not only does the story offer a glimpse into the young Rossetti’s beliefs and aspirations, it seems to … Read more

Wombat Friday! Now with extra lemon!

T-Dub, resident wombat at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, is craving lemons. The source of his delight can be traced to the symbolic details found in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s painting La Bella Mano.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted La Bella Mano in 1875. When planning it, he described it as “a good-sized Titianesque subject — a girl washing her … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang

I’ve amassed quite a collection of Pre-Raphaelite books over the years and the addition of Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang to my shelves adds something alive. It buzzes with energy and a sense that, just by reading it, we are tapping into a collective consciousness of artistic women whose endeavors richly deserve to be remembered and honored. When … Read more

A Wombat’s Breakfast

T-Dub, trusty sidekick to Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, has been reading about what life was like in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s home. You know what he was interested in? The food. Ah, little wombat friend, you are a creature after my own heart. Novelist George Meredith was apparently disgusted by Rossetti’s breakfasts, which he described as “Plates of … Read more

Balancing on the Bridge

We carry an entire world in our pocket that allows us to search for information without opening a reference book. I can write you a quick note without ever putting pen to paper, and send it without a stamp or an envelope. Every day, millions of people take selfies that are filtered into perfection. No … Read more

A #WombatFriday for Lizzie

Wednesday was Lizzie Siddal’s birthday and my sidekick Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat (T-Dub to his friends), has decided to learn more about her. When learning about Lizzie, there’s a lot of misinformation to wade through, so I thought it best for T-Dub to read a personal account from someone who actually knew her. Georgiana Burne-Jones, … Read more

#WombatFriday: T-Dub Visits the Rossetti Clan

T-Dub Photobombs Great Moments in Pre-Raphaelite History. September 1863. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, photographs Dante Gabriel Rossetti with his sister Christina, mother Frances, and brother William. Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat, known to friends as T-Dub, crashes their little soiree, much to Rossetti’s perplexed delight. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge … Read more

#WombatFriday: Adventures of T-Dub

This #WombatFriday, T-Dub is taking time to smell the marigolds because he’s exhausted from his recent adventures. It’s only to be expected when you’ve been on a rollicking journey through Pre-Raphaelite time. Tune in next week for T-Dub’s latest adventure. You can follow along on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page and Twitter.

The Grey Lady

The Grey Lady (1883) is an interesting work by Millais in which we see the ghost of a murdered woman.  The staircase was taken from St. Mary’s Tower, Birnam, a building that has since been demolished but you can see photographs of it here taken in 1963.  The artist’s son described the work in The … Read more

Following Bliss

“Sit in a room and read — and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time. This realization of life can be a constant realization in your living. When you find an author … Read more