Pre-Raphaelite art, Doctor Who, and how you see the world

I see the world with a Pre-Raphaelite eye.  I can’t help myself.  Things happen and Pre-Raphaelite images will pop into my head without warning. Or a passage I’ve read will suddenly be there, rewritten in my mind.

When I first saw the Prisoner Zero episode of Doctor Who, when everyone else was probably thinking “get out of there Amy!”  I was thinking “Burne-Jones Perseus!”  The two images are not completely similar, but that’s the connection I made in my head.
The Doom Fulfilled, from Burne-Jone’s Perseus series
Or when the Rebel Flesh episode of Doctor Who aired, the minute we understood that there were doppelgangers involved, it was Rossetti’s ‘How They Met Themselves’ that sprang to mind.  This led to me ponder Rossetti’s portrayed doppelgangers and what if they were a created through an advanced technology in another time period like in Doctor Who.

How The Met Themselves, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Which led to my daydreaming an entire story about  Rossetti’s ‘gangers’ wandering around the forest and encountering their human counterparts.  I was so involved in my own story that I missed most of the Doctor, Amy, and Rory dealing with rogue gangers, who apparently turn into milk when they die.
This isn’t something new for me, and it’s not always the Pre-Raphaelites.  It’s many things.  My brain is a compendium of the things I love.  When I was a teen, I felt insecure because it was obvious that no one else around me was seeing things through the experience of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie or Alfred Hitchcock.  This was an internal struggle, though.  I didn’t appear to be pained or show my angst to my peers.  If you asked any of my classmates if I was the oddball, they might look at you quizzically and say no.  But the inner struggle was there and it was years before I felt comfortable with my own thoughts and in my own skin.
What’s the point of this tangent?
I’d much rather live a life where random moments prompt me to think of the art that speaks to me than to live a bland life where I have no opportunity to do that.  Our existence is better when we reach out and find literature and art that influences us and informs the way we see even the most mundane things.  This applies to everyone who loves any kind of genre.  I don’t care if it’s Pre-Raphaelite art or comic books or heavy metal music or cosplay.  We shouldn’t dismiss or deride the passions that fuel someone else.  I hope that we all have the courage to pursue our own unique view of the  world and pursue it with abandon.   Put yourself out there.  Cultivate your own particular outlook.  Share it with others.  And if they don’t get it, don’t worry about it.  It’s OK.
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14 Replies to “Pre-Raphaelite art, Doctor Who, and how you see the world”

  1. Oh Stephanie I love this post!! Tess and I have discussed before how fascinating it is to see how in the circle of our modern Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, many of us have our love for the PRB inform many aspects of our daily lives, from dress to decor to hobbies to pop culture references. In fact I’ve thought of doing a whole long essay / scholarly paper type thingy (heh…fancy me) on it.

  2. I love this post! I have often felt almost “embarassed” by my love of all things Mediaeval/Renaissance and also by the fact that I like so many different things (I like artsy movies and dumb comedies. I like opera and Led Zeppelin. Etc). People want us to fit into one category, and they can get weirded out of intimidated by people who have such different likes. Thank you for reminding me to stay strong in my beliefs and not compromise myself for anybody!

  3. Yes, there are moments in almost everyone’s life where we may feel a bit sheepish about something we feel deeply about. I look at it like this: maybe that sheepish feeling has more to do with the other person than ourselves. Perhaps subconsciously we know that person may not be accepting, or they are the type to scoff and ridicule everything. So holding back can be a way of protecting ourselves. I’ve learned that I’m not going to hold back because they have difficulty accepting something. We are not responsible for their issues.

  4. I don’t even know how I came across your website, however, I am extremely glad that I did. Everything that I have read so far has inspired me greatly.
    I am also interested in this idea of the ‘Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood’ and I am currently trying to adapt all of my Pre-Raph knowledge into a 12,000 word dissertation. After visiting the Ford Maddox Brown exhibition yesterday at the Manchester Art Gallery, I left feeling overwhelmingly excited but also very very aprehensive and confused. I think it is important for people and artists’ (especially female) to identify the influences that these women had on the Men of the Brotherhood and how much of a Role Model these women are in our current society. I think you have worded your ideas immensly and have certainly got your point accross and I doubt anyone could be offended by what you are writing. I think it is amazing that you are embracing your passion and the references that your brain makes from modern culture/television to victorian art.
    I infact did this myself the other day, I saw a funeral for a friend video on youtube (I’m not sure of the name now) and it reminded me of a Rene Magritte Painting I saw called ‘The Lovers.’ in Tate Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. I also find it humourous because I believe that directors intentionally use these artistic ideas for people like you and I to recognise them.

    Thankyou for writing this website and I will definitely be looking out for updates in the future.

  5. Goodness the world is round today!

    I came here from Terri Windling’s blog, where she quoted something of mine; and your obsession with the Pre-Raphaelites (and my what excellent taste you have; when your page loaded I was like, *sigh* Jane, and look Topsy’s willows as background) came right back round to my obsession du jour, the new Doctor Who.

  6. I love this post! I’ve always thought the Burne-Jones Perseus embarrasingly phallic, mind you – there’s a lovely dignified Roman painting of Perseus & Andromeda in which it’s Perseus who is naked (showing off his brown athletic body) while Andromeda is decently clothed as befits an ancient Greek princess. But all the Victorian ones strip Andromeda off.

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