Category Archives: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Her enchanted hair

And  her enchanted hair was the first gold./And still she sits, young while the earth is old –from Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnet Lady Lilith Lilith appears here with pale skin and clad in a white gown, making her luxurious hair … Continue reading

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Katabasis: Descend into Hell

After my recent post on Dante’s Divine Comedy, I’ve been thinking about metaphorical descents into the Underworld.  The rather beautiful Greek word for descent is katabasis, usually used to describe a hero’s journey into the underworld on a quest of … Continue reading

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La Mandolinata

La Mandolinata is an excellent example of opulence in jewelry in Rossetti’s work.  Complementing her brocade gown, we see that familiar spiral hair pin set among strands of pearls. (I love pearls in Pre-Raphaelite art.  See The Pursuit of Pearls and … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

Posted in Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, Jane Burden Morris, Pre-Raphaelite Subjects and Themes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poppies: Sleep, Death, Remembrance

The Tower of London is marking the centenary of World War I with a breathtaking art installation called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by artist Paul Cummins.  The installation will include total of 888,246 ceramic poppies, each flower representing a … Continue reading

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Don’t look back!

Orpheus was given his lyre by the god Apollo and it was the Muses that taught him how to play.  His gift for music enchanted all living things: wild beasts, trees and even stones.  After his journeys with the Argonauts, … Continue reading

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Ulalume

As I mentioned in Rossetti and the art of death, Edgar Allan Poe was a great influence on DGR’s work. The Raven is a prime example of Poe’s poetry influencing Rossetti’s.  It was a catalyst for The Blessed Damozel, where Rossetti reversed … Continue reading

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Rossetti and the art of death

“It is a subject from an old story of mine — a woman dying while her lover is painting her portrait”  (Dante Gabriel Rossetti) This is a story of beauty, art, and death. The study for Bonifazio’s mistress captures a … Continue reading

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Rossetti’s Day Dream

One of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s last paintings shows Jane Morris in a world of green.  She’s surrounded by foliage, seemingly lost in a day dream while her book lies ignored on her lap.  Her hand loosely holds a honeysuckle. Jane … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

Posted in Alexa Wilding, Annie Miller, Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Jane Burden Morris, mary zambaco | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who is The Blessed Damozel?

The Poem:  Drawing inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Blessed Damozel explores the theme of lovers separated by death.  Like Poe’s Lenore, the damozel (an archaic form of damsel) has died and Rossetti introduces her … Continue reading

Posted in Alexa Wilding, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Margaret Hannay, sugarplum of the universe

Scottish author James Hannay once described his wife Margaret as the ‘sugarplum of the universe’.   Dante Gabriel Rossetti captured the sugarplum’s beauty in the sketch above, drawn a few weeks before the couple wed. Margaret also appears as Beatrice … Continue reading

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