Exploring The Portrait

The Portrait is a poem I’ve wanted to write about for a while now, because writing about things is how I unpack and explore them.  One thing I love about poetry, though, is its prismatic quality.  The facets I see may not be what you see, but if we compare notes then new colors emerge….
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A reading wombat is a happy wombat

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti” Is it Friday again, already?  Huzzah! I’ve just shared this quote with Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat:  “Rossetti was the planet around which we…
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The Personification of Love

Today I have been pondering allegories of love in art.  Namely, the choices artists make when representing the concept of Love in physical form.  It is usually male and I assume that the root of this lies in Greek myths of Eros, god of love, or his Roman counterpart, Cupid.  Seen above is Hope Comforting…
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#WombatFriday: T-Dub Meets Ruth Herbert

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat (T-Dub to his close friends) is mad about Pre-Raphaelite Stunners.  So, I thought I’d introduce him to Ruth Herbert…
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The Imprisonment of Pia

In 1868, Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted Jane Morris as La Pia de Tolomei.  Pia appears in Canto V  of Purgatorio in the Divine Comedy. Pia’s story is a sad one. Dante encountered her during his journey through Purgatory, where she remains since she has died without absolution.  She says to Dante “remember me, the one who is Pia; Siena made…
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#WombatFriday: The Day Dream

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat has been poring over Rossetti paintings in order to be the best Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood assistant he can be.  He’s…
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Love and Wombats

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogones Wombat is a willing assistant here at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood.  Sure, he can be easily distracted and he has a tendency…
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In Which the Birthday Girl Shows You Paintings

Today begins the forty-second year of ME!  ‘Tis my birthday! In Ulysses, Tennyson said ‘I am a part of all that I have met’ and I believe that to be true.  Our experiences add to our depth and the people and things I’ve met in life are part of my story, including the art and…
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In which a wombat falls in love with Lady Clare

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Once again it is #WombatFriday and this week, Thaddeus Diogenes Fern Wombat has been a worthy Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood assistant.  He does have a…
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Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Siddal!

The hills grow darker to my sight And thoughts begin to swim. (from Elizabeth Siddal’s poem At Last) Lizzie was discovered in millinery shop, a simple girl who was tall for the time and had a mass of red-gold hair. Her first sitting was for Walter Deverell’s Twelfth Night. On this day in 1829, Elizabeth Eleanor…
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Exploring Sponsa de Libano

Sponsa de Libano is inspired by the Song of Solomon:  ‘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…
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#WombatFriday with Cleopatra

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat is a sleepy bloke today, but knowing his love for history and drama I’ve chosen to wake him up…
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Love is Enough

William Morris’ Love is Enough has been on my mind this morning. “He makes a poem these days–in dismal Queen Square in black old filthy London in dull end of October he makes a pretty poem that is to be wondrously happy; and it has four sets of lovers in it and THEY ALL ARE HAPPY…
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Emma Sandys

Pictured above is  A Lady Holding a Rose by Emma Sandys.  Sadly little is known about  Sandys in comparison to her more famous brother, Frederick.  I recommend Serena Trowbridge’s post The Mysterious Emma Sandys.  (If you are unfamiliar with Serena’s blog, Culture and Anarchy, I’m just going to go ahead and suggest that you should bookmark…
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#WombatFriday: A New Chapter

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti In 2013, on a whim, I started Wombat Friday.  For four years I have faithfully posted photos of toy wombats with Pre-Raphaelite art…
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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

One of my favorite posts on this site is Monstrous Women, where I briefly discuss my admiration for not only Mary Shelley, but women in fiction and myth that can be considered monstrosities.  They pop up on Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood repeatedly.  Lamia, for example, or Sidonia and  Medusa.   The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter…
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Not in thy body is thy life at all

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s sonnet Life-in-Love fascinates me, especially when read with knowledge of two great loves in his life: Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris.   The first two lines suggest that his deceased lover’s life has somehow migrated into the body of his new love: Not in thy body is thy life at all/But in…
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Signs of Life

In 1865, Dante Gabriel Rossetti orchestrated a series of images of Jane Morris to be photographed by John Robert Parsons.  While they are all interesting and beautiful to me, my favorite is the one above for one reason:  that scarf. There’s a gauzy scarf that is seen repeatedly in Rossetti’s works.  Here’s just a few…
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How to Fly

There’s a horror that sets in just before a new beginning.  It can cripple you. The key is to understand the process.  Like everything else in life, there are stages.   First there’s fear.  It is a cold fear that paralyzes. Dive into it with a rush, it is like plunging deep into freezing water…
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In which I embrace criticism

I’ve seen comments online that say the Pre-Raphaelites mainly appeal to adolescents.  Even this 2007 piece from The Guardian quotes a senior curator at Tate Britain saying they’d have complaints from teenage girls if they didn’t show Pre-Raphaelite art.  At first I bristled at this, knowing that it is a style of art that appeals to…
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Millais and Music

Did you know Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais wrote song lyrics? To Psyche   “O Psyche, what a chance thou lost When Cupid was thy swain! Thou mightst have cut his tiny wings Too close to grow again,   And cast his quiver far away, His crimson roses shorn Of cruel barbs, and left…
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Tragic Lovers

Early Death by Elizabeth Siddal Oh grieve not with thy bitter tears The life that passes fast; The gates of heaven will open wide And take me in at last. Then sit down meekly at my side And watch my young life flee; Then solemn peace of holy death Come quickly unto thee. But true…
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