A Pre-Raphaelite Look at Hitchcock’s Vertigo

Warning: This post contains spoilers. If you have not seen Vertigo, you might want to back away slowly because I do not want to ruin your experience You have been warned. “Do you believe that someone out of the past, someone dead, can enter and take possession of a living being?”–Gavin Elster to Scottie in … Read more

Victorian Murder

In 1857, a twenty-two-year-old woman stood trial in Glasgow for murdering her former lover. It was the cause célèbre of the day and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti declared her too beautiful to be executed whether she was guilty or not, saying, “you wouldn’t hang a stunner!” (‘Letters of DG Rossetti’, Atlantic Monthly vol. 77) Rossetti … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Sighting in Whitechapel

New addition to the Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page.  William Holman Hunt’s painting Isabella and the Pot of Basil spotted in Whitechapel. If you are unfamiliar with this work, see my previous post Love, Death, and Potted Plants.   Whitechapel is a British detective series.  It’s dark and atmospheric with  plots that hearken back to historic Whitechapel crimes … Read more

Blanche Fury

Over the years, the term Pre-Raphaelite took on a life of its own and in addition to referring to art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, many people use it to describe a bohemian style of dress or a certain physical type. Usually, when I see a modern woman described as Pre-Raphaelite, it refers to her wild and … Read more

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Happening upon unexpected Pre-Raphaelite art and influences while watching a film or reading a book are some of the delicious delights of my life.  Curled up in blankets, my daughter and I recently experienced a film that provided several glorious surprises. I’ve added a few new screenshots to the Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page from that moody … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Sighting in Murder, She Wrote

A new sighting has just been added to the Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page. Episode 10 of the first season of Murder, She Wrote shows Aurora Triumphans by one of my favorite female Pre-Raphaelites: Evelyn De Morgan.  Aurora Triumphans currently hangs in the Russell-Cotes Gallery. In this episode, a villainous owner of an amusement park tries … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Sighting in Deception

An exciting new addition to the Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page! Thank you to Victoria Osborne for sharing. The 2013 thriller The Best Offer (Deception) stars Geoffrey Rush as an eccentric art auctioneer with a secret collection of portraits of beautiful women – including Burne-Jones’ Vespertina Quies and one of Birmingham Museums’ Rossetti drawings of Fanny Cornforth. Pre-Raphaelite beauties … Read more

ABC’s Forever

Forever has become a show that our entire family watches together. I love the premise: A 200-year-old man works in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality.  Ioan Gruffud is on point every episode. His character, Henry Morgan, is dapper, elegant, and has a  Sherlockian … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite work spotted in Seinfeld

I’ve added a new entry to the Unexpected Sightings page. ‘Reverie’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti can be seen in the background of NBC sitcom  Seinfeld.  This is Mr. Pitt’s apartment, where the character Elaine works as Mr. Pitt’s personal assistant.  Sixth episode of the sixth season of Seinfeld, titled ‘The Gymnast’. To see Pre-Raphaelite works … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Princess of Star Wars

When Time magazine asked George Lucas about the unusual hairstyle he created for Star Wars character Princess Leia, he answered: In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create something different that wasn’t fashion, so I went with a kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is. The … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Sighting: Sandys’ ‘Mary Magdalene’ on America Unearthed

Here’s a new addition to the Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page. I was watching an episode of America Unearthed recently and was surprised to see Frederick Sandys’ painting Mary Magdalene.  I see Pre-Raphaelite images used all the time on television, but the use of Mary Magdalene was an unusual choice in this particular case. Mary Magdalene was used … Read more

Latest Pre-Raphaelite Sightings

New images added to the Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page! Thank you to Alexandrion Drallipo for discovering these images.  William Morris’ Larkspur wallpaper in Finding Neverland:   William Morris’ Willow pattern wallpaper in the TV series Justified:   William Morris Windrush wallpaper in Django Unchained: Thank you to Lisa Gill for noticing The Crystal Ball by … Read more

Help The Lady of Shalott film be released online for free

The Lady of Shalott film is one of the most beautiful projects I have ever seen.  On an aesthetic level, it encompasses everything I love:  diligence to history and craftsmanship, the poetry of Tennyson, and a lush, cinematic quality that allows you to briefly be cocooned into the medieval world of Elaine of Astolat.  On … Read more

The Most Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sighting Yet

Of all of our Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings, this one surprised me the most.  We are avid Netflix users and my daughter and I have been watching Cheers together.  We started at episode 1 a few months ago and we reached season 10 over the weekend.  We just watched season 10’s Halloween episode and you can … Read more

Will Emma Thompson’s latest film renew interest in the Pre-Raphaelites?

Matthew Cain, Culture Editor at Channel 4, delivers a wonderful and thought provoking piece on Emma Thompson’s new movie Effie and the possibility that it may renew interest in Pre-Raphaelite art. He says,“In 2012, we’re so familiar with the work of the Pre-Raphaelites that it’s easy to forget just how radical and revolutionary they were. … Read more

Rossetti and Ruskin

  In two previous posts, I talked about the marriages of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Ruskin. Here’s a photograph of both men, courtesy of George P. Landow and the Victorian web.  Ruskin looks absolutely frightening with that stick! June 29, 1863 Albumen Print Downey made made this double portrait during the same session at Rossetti’s … Read more

New Pre-Raphaelite Sighting: Thomas Crown Affair

Alexandrion Drallipo (and her excellent Pre-Raphaelite eye) has once again given me a wonderful sighting for the Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings list.  Thanks for the screen cap! This is from The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) with Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo.  Unfortunately, my mind has gone blank and I can’t identify the painting.  It looks like … Read more