William Morris and Le Morte d’Arthur

Since finishing Le Morte d’Arthur, I’ve been refreshing my memory and reading all the references I can find regarding Pre-Raphaelite art and Arthurian influences. My first choice was a William Morris biography that I happily stumbled across at a flea market a few years ago. There’s one paragraph in particular that always stands out to … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Inspired Reading: Sidonia the Sorceress

In order to delve deeper into my Pre-Raphaelite interest, I’ve decided to devote some time to reading works that inspired the Pre-Raphaelites.  If you’d like to read along with me, I’d be delighted.  I adore a good book discussion! My first selection is Sidonia the Sorceress.  Unable to find a decently priced paperback, I’ve downloaded … Read more

Dante Gabriel Rossetti illustrates Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven

Who doesn’t love Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven?  A masterful poem of mourning, loss and visitation in which the poem’s speaker is grief-stricken with the death of his beloved Lenore and is haunted by memories.  Enter the raven with his repetitive message “Nevermore”!   Dante Gabriel Rossetti drew his illustration of  The Raven around 1848, … Read more

Lorenzo and Isabella

This is the first work Millais painted as a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Lorenzo and Isabella is based on Keats’ poem Isabella, or, the Pot of Basil.  I’ve touched on the poem briefly in this post about William Holman Hunt’s painting of the same subject.   Basically, Isabella and Lorenzo fall in love. Her brothers … Read more

Keats and the Pre-Raphaelites

I recently saw an interview with Jane Campion on Charlie Rose and was interested as she discussed her latest film, Bright Star.    Based on the three-year romance between  John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats’ untimely death at age 25. Keats was an inspiration to the Pre-Raphaelites.   His poem The Eve … Read more

St. George and the Princess Sabra

St. George and the Princess Sabra was painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1862. This was the last work that his wife, Lizzie Siddal, posed for before her death. I find myself searching her face, as if it were a photograph, looking for signs of what was to occur days later: her overdose of laudanum. The … Read more

Fair Rosamund and Queen Eleanor

  Fair Rosamund, mistress of King Henry II, is depicted in light colors that represent innocence and virginity. In contrast, Queen Eleanor wears an angry black. Despite being the wronged wife, it is the fair Rosamund that we pity. The fear is visible on her lovely, crying face. Rosamund is trying to flee, but it … Read more

Ophelia and the Pre-Raphaelites

Ophelia is a captivating character, one that inspired many of the Pre-Raphaelites and other Victorian artists. For those unfamiliar with Ophelia, she is Hamlet’s innocent young love interest in one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Hamlet. Hamlet loved Ophelia – but after his meeting with the ghost of his father (Act I) he feels compelled to … Read more

What is Pre-Raphaelite Art?

What does Pre-Raphaelite mean? While it can seem to be an umbrella term, it actually refers to art created by members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their followers. the literature that grew out of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. Who were the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood? The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood began in 1848 as a secret society of young … Read more