Burne-Jones Armor

Two of Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ largest projects were a series of paintings based on stories drawn from  mythology and fairy tales:  The Perseus Cycle and The Briar Rose series.  In each series he created huge breathtaking panels that he worked on painstakingly for years.  In this post, I’d like to focus on the armor found…
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Venus Concordia

In her memorials of her husband, Georgiana Burne-Jones gives us a glimpse into the creation of Venus Concordia (pictured above). “After ‘The Fall of Lucifer’ was finished, ‘Venus Concordia’, long patiently waiting its turn, was taken up again.  With the three Graces who stand together at the right hand of the Goddess Edward took endless…
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The Kelmscott Chaucer

In 1891, William Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in an effort to realize his vision of creating exquisitely crafted books.  Joining him in this endeavor was his longtime friend Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who contributed over one hundred designs to Kelmscott Press editions. The books they created were unique in their craftsmanship and beauty, which you…
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Circe the Enchantress

The works of John William Waterhouse often blend feminine beauty and mystery.  Above is Circe Invidiosa, his depiction of the goddess Circe. With a sumptuous  blend of greens and blues, he created a world that draws us in and mesmerizes. It’s as if you can feel yourself transported into Circe’s world. You can hear the water…
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Menacing Beauty

“There’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck.” – Radiohead, “There, There” Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse depicts a scene from Jason and the Argonauts.  Hylas was the son of King Theiodamas, who was killed in battle by Herakles.  Herakles then raised Hylas as his own. Known for both his striking beauty and his…
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Painting the Soul

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  but it seems to be the only work of fiction…
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The Diaries of William Allingham

If you’re interested in studying the Victorian era seriously, then diaries and letters are important.  At times I feel like a 21st-century snoop, devouring personal journals and private correspondence whenever I get the chance.  Through contemporary accounts, the past may not always come alive but it shines through the mist more clearly.  The diaries of…
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The Witch’s Heart

This morning I shared on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page  Edward Poynter’s portrait of Georgiana Burne-Jones, wife of Sir Edward Burne-Jones who was an important figure in the second wave of Pre-Raphaelitism.   In ‘The Last Pre-Raphaelite’ biographer Fiona MacCarthy describes the watch Georgie’s wearing on a chain as a “ball-shaped gold watch studded with chrysolites…
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Pan, Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Above is a detail from Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Pan from The Wind in the Willows. I first became enchanted by Pan when, as a little girl, I read The Wind in the Willows. I was in love with that book from the moment Mole became fed up with his spring-cleaning, left his hole, and met…
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Sidonia: From Burne-Jones to Tim Burton

I posted about Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ painting Sidonia von Bork in 2009, but Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood’s readership has grown quite a bit since then, so I thought I’d revisit it for those of you who are new to this blog.  Honestly, when I read some of the older posts on this site, I can’t help but…
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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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Burne-Jones’ “Bogey Drawings”

“I do not know exactly where to place a class of drawings for which Edward was famous in our closest circle. We called them “Bogey drawings”, and they dealt fearlessly with the fearful subject. We shuddered and laughed as we saw the old fears of our childhood embodied in the march of a Bogey up…
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Images of the Annunciation

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s portrayal of the Annunciation is a continuation of the theme begun in his painting The Girlhood of Mary Virgin.  The moment that Mary learns she is to give birth to the Christ child has been depicted in art frequently since the Middle Ages. Rossetti’s Ecce Ancilla Domini is shockingly intimate in comparison.  We see…
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Art of the Story

In a post a few years ago, I said that my love of Pre-Raphaelite art probably stems from my lifelong love of stories.  Much of the Pre-Raphaelites’ work presents a narrative often inspired by literature and myth.  I have noticed recently that a number of Victorian artworks are not just the telling of a story,…
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Oracles and Sibyls

sib·yl: noun a woman in ancient times supposed to utter the oracles and prophecies of a god. literary a woman able to foretell the future. Sibyls appear often in art and fiction and I find them indicative of female power and mystery. They represent arcane knowledge of the future, usually sought by someone on an…
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Sponsa de Libano

‘Awake O North wind; and come then south; blow upon my garden that the spices thereof may flow out.’  (Song of Solomon 4:16) “I drew the South wind one day and the North wind the next.  Such a queer little model I had, a little Houndsditch Jewess, self-possessed, mature and worldly, and only about twelve…
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A #WombatFriday for Burne-Jones

Today is the birthday of artist Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, the artist who was the genesis of my interest for the Pre-Raphaelites when, at the age of seventeen, I first saw The Beguiling of Merlin.  I’m forty now.  Having spent my entire adult life in the throes of Pre-Raphaelite passion, I look back and realize…
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The bias against Fanny Cornforth

Sir Edward Burne-Jones used Fanny Cornforth as a model for his unfinished painting, Hope,  above.  Although incomplete, it remains one of my favorite paintings of Fanny.  As Jan Marsh points out in Pre-Raphaelite Women: Images of Femininity in Pre-Raphaelite Art, in Hope it is possible to ‘appreciate the ‘fine regular features’ that attracted so many admirers before her…
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Art is a Mirror

  When I was fifteen years old, my father taught me how to drive.  I was eager yet scared; I couldn’t believe that I had actually passed the test to get my learner’s permit. Dad wanted to give me ample opportunity to practice before beginning Driver’s Ed at school so we drove together often.  He’d…
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Slumber revisited

Recently, an unknown study for Leighton’s Flaming June was discovered. The discovery was almost cinematic: Pre-Raphaelite study discovered behind door in English mansion. After the discovery, the sketch sold for a whopping £135,000 through Sotheby’s. I have a rather large framed print of Flaming June in my bedroom, so it is an image I see daily, although I…
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Guest Post: Pre-Raphaelites in Venice

I am honored that Kris Waldherr has taken the time to share about the beauty of Venice and its influence on the Pre-Raphaelite circle. That same influence is echoed within the pages of  The Lover’s Path, which I think fellow Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts will love.  Guest Post: Pre-Raphaelites in Venice by Kris Waldherr “There was never…
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The Holy Grail Tapestries

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is currently preparing their latest exhibit: Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol: Love is Enough draws together iconic and rarely seen works by two giants of the 19th and 20th centuries – William Morris and Andy Warhol. The Birmingham showing of this exhibition will see Birmingham Museum…
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