In a World of Her Own

I’ve seen  Pre-Raphaelite paintings  of women  dismissed as ‘languid’ or ‘vapid’ and many critics view them as sensual images created solely for the male gaze. That’s a fair argument, of course, but I feel it’s a point of view that barely scratches the surface. To me, Pre-Raphaelite women are not shallow objects of beauty, but…
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What is the “Pre-Raphaelite Woman”?

Women are central figures in Pre-Raphaelite art and this has given us the concept of a “Pre-Raphaelite Woman”. I frequently see the term ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ in occasional news articles, usually describing an actress or singer with long curly hair.  Florence Welch is often described as Pre-Raphaelite and it’s definitely a look she has embraced. But was there…
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Annie Miller portrait soon to be auctioned

Via The Press Association: A portrait previously owned by LS Lowry of an “enthralling” artists’ muse will go under the hammer next month. The 1860 drawing of Annie Miller by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) is expected to fetch between £200,000 and £300,000. Annie Miller (1835-1925) was a striking model from a humble background, who “enthralled…
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More on Annie Miller…

Annie Miller, painted by Millais. Millais painted her hair darker than William Holman Hunt or Dante Gabriel Rossetti did. One facet of Pre-Raphaelite art that I find interesting is that several artists would use the same models time and time again, each painting her differently. Which raises the question: did they portray women how they…
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Annie Miller

  Jan Marsh briefly describes Annie Miller’s childhood in Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood (not associated with this website) as horribly poor and unhygienic, saying that a neighbor had described Annie and her sister as “dirty and covered with vermin”…and that Annie’s hair was particularly “wild and filthy”.  Annie’s mother had died some time after her birth, leaving…
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Helen of Troy

Helen, whose 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 fallen in love with Helen and, married or not, he…
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The Awakening Conscience

The fallen woman was quite a theme for the Pre-Raphaelites. In this painting, The Awakening Conscience, we see a mistress rising from the seat of her lover, seemingly stricken with the realization of what her life has become. The Awakening Conscience, painted by William Holman Hunt, is filled with symbolism: a cat crouches under the…
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