Preparing for the Ball

I have a weakness for paintings with mirrors in them.  Preparing for the Ball by Emma Sandys is a perfect example.  According to Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists by Jan Marsh and Pamela Gerrish Nunn, this painting has been known by more than one title:  Preparing for the Ball, Before the Mirror and The Lady of Shalott. …
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Image of the Week: Lady in a Yellow Dress

Introducing a new feature at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood:  Image of the Week.  For our first selection, I thought it would be appropriate to choose a work from a female artist painting in the Pre-Raphaelite style. Lady in a Yellow Dress (c. 1870) painted by Emma Sandys.

More Pre-Raphaelite Pearls

Pearls adorn Love’s Shadow by Frederick Sandys A pearl rosary in the background of Kate Bunce’s The Keepsake: Large pearls are strung at intervals in Helen’s necklace (Helen of Troy, Dante Gabriel Rossetti) Three pearls suspended from a brooch in The Pale Complexion of True Love by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale:

The Pursuit of Pearls

To the ancient Greeks, they were tears of the gods. My grandmother’s akoya pearls are the most precious piece of jewelry I own, beside my wedding ring.  Apart from their sentimental value, they have a gorgeous lustre and have aged quite well. Pearls appear front and center in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Belcolore: And in Fanny…
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More on Keomi Gray

On the internet, ask and ye shall receive.  In my previous post I said that I wanted to learn more about Keomi Gray and, happily, I have. First, my friend Cathy Baker directed me to a few links last night: On Find A Grave, Keomi is listed as Keomi Gray Bonnett, which let me know…
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Keomi Gray

In my previous post about The Beloved, I mentioned the woman in the right area of the painting: For the woman on the right, Rossetti used a model named Keomi Gray.  I’ve desperately searched for more information about her, but it’s quite difficult.  There doesn’t seem to be much written about her and if anyone…
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Caption Competition at the Thames & Hudson blog

To celebrate the launch of their new blog, Thames & Hudson are offering a copy of ‘Pre-Raphaelite Drawing’ as a prize for the best caption to Frederick Sandys’ famous ‘Medea’. You can read Thames & Hudson’s recent blog post on ‘The Poetry of Drawing’ exhibition which is currently at BMAG here: Post your caption…
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Medea by Frederick Sandys Sandys portrays Medea as a powerful beauty and I especially love the abalone shell included among the other details of the painting.  She’s wearing a coral necklace mentioned in my post Rossetti and his baubles and in these posts at The Beautiful Necessity: The Pre-Raphaelites and “Hippie” Beads and Hippie Beads…
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Helen of Troy by Evelyn De Morgan

I have a weakness for art inspired by literary and mythological themes, so I can not resist comparing Evelyn De Morgan’s Helen of Troy with the Pre-Raphaelite artists that came before her.   I’ve written a bit about Eveylyn De Morgan before in this post.  She was heavily influenced by Burne-Jones and was inspired by…
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Love’s Shadow

Although Frederick Sandys was not a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he is among those artists often described as Pre-Raphaelite because of their similarity in style. Sandys lived with Dante Gabriel Rossetti for a time in Rossetti’s home in Cheyne Walk. In another post (Helen of Troy) I mentioned that Rossetti accused Sandys of plagiarism. The model for Love’s…
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Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings

This page is a work in progress.  If you have a sighting to add, please post a comment or post on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page, send me a tweet on twitter to @beguilingmerlin, or email I love Inspector Morse mysteries.  If you are not familiar with them, it was a wonderful a television…
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Magic in Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist Art

Magic and witchcraft can be depicted as ugly and dark in art as in William Blake’s Hecate, but Pre-Raphaelite artists embrace its beauty and mysticism. Look at her skirt. Her magical symbols, I think, are Celtic in origin. If anyone has any info on them, please post a comment.

Helen of Troy

                      Helen’s beautiful face was said to have launched a thousand ships. She was the wife of Menelaus, the king of Sparta. Of course, the fact that she was married didn’t bother Paris at all; he was a married man as well. But Paris had…
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