Monna Vanna

'Monna Vanna', Dante Gabriel Rossetti
‘Monna Vanna’, Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Rossetti frequently used Alexa Wilding as a model. Tall and voluptuous, she appears in some of his most beautiful works. She is The Blessed Damozel, although she is frequently misidentified in that painting as Elizabeth Siddal.

In Monna Vanna, Rossetti has cast Alexa in the role of a vain beauty. Her large-sleeved, opulent gown is reminiscent of the Renaissance. In her hair is the spiral pearl hair pin that Rossetti used again and again. Her earrings bear a strong resemblance to the necklace worn by Fanny Cornforth in Fair Rosamund. The unusual bracelet she wears is also seen on the bride in The Beloved and in Monna Pomona. Yes, it is the jewels that seem to interest me.  Do I have a jewelry fixation?  I must: see Rossetti and his Baubles, The Pursuit of Pearls, More Pre-Raphaelite Pearls, Hair Adornment in Rossetti Paintings and Fanny Cornforth’s Earrings.


The bracelet worn in 'Monna Vanna' was first seen in Rossetti's 'Monna Pomona'.
The bracelet worn in ‘Monna Vanna’ was first seen in Rossetti’s ‘Monna Pomona’.

Also see:

From Grace Nuth at The Beautiful Necessity:  Pre-Raphaelites and “Hippie” Beads and “Hippie” Beads part II

The Art of Food: Pearl Pin Biscuits by Kirsty Stonell Walker at The Kissed Mouth

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