Watch out for Stunner

Before Christmas, Kirsty Stonell Walker sent me her revised manuscript of Stunner to read.  People, it is awesome.  I’m not sure when the projected release date will be, but as soon as it is out I urge all Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts to snap up a copy. Stunner is the first full-length biography of Pre-Raphaelite artist’s model…
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The Kissed Mouth

I wanted to share this link with you because I know you will adore this blog as much as I do.  It’s written by Kirsty Walker, who I deeply respect and admire.  Kirsty is the author of the first full length biography of Pre-Raphaelite model Fanny Cornforth, which she is currently revising.   Her new blog,…
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Study for Fair Rosamund

The more I study the Pre-Raphaelites, the more I discover that I often prefer the artist’s studies rather than the paintings themselves.  Although I love Fair Rosamund, I find the study has a sad and intimate feel that isn’t quite captured the same way in Rossetti’s finished product.  Here is Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s study for…
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Rossetti and His Baubles

After the previous post about the hair pin (also see this post at The Beautiful Necessity)  I spent today collecting images of recurring jewelry in Rossetti paintings.  So far I have: Rossetti adorned her hair with a lovely white rose and a piece of jewelry that has always looked like an earring (to my modern…
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Sidonia von Bork by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

The intricate pattern of Sidonia’s gown is amazing. Painted in 1860, Sidonia von Bork is an early watercolor by Burne-Jones and is based on the book Sidonia the Sorceress.  Burne-Jones used model Fanny Cornforth (a Rossetti favorite) to portray Sidonia.  We see her standing in profile, apparently lost in thought while plotting and scheming.  In…
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Lucrezia Borgia

I believe the model to be Fanny Cornforth. According to the Tate, Rossetti repainted her face several years after completing the painting. The tale of the Borgias captivated Rossetti. Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) was the member of a ruthless political family. Her father Rodrigo Borgia eventually became Pope Alexander VI. We see her in Rossetti’s painting…
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The Blue Bower

  This painting is yet another of Rossetti’s works that depicts a woman playing music. It is also Rossetti’s last major portrait of Fanny Cornforth. I love the blue and white tile background, which is also reminiscent of the blue and white china that Rossetti and others in his circle collected. I highly recommend The Rossetti…
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Rossetti’s Lilith

Dante Gabriel Rossetti originally painted Lilith using Fanny Cornforth as a model when he began painting it in 1864. For some reason, in 1868, he changed the face from Fanny’s to that of another of his favorite models,  Alexa Wilding. According to Hebrew myth, Lilith was Adam’s wife before Eve. Lilith had refused to be…
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Bocca Baciata

Elizabeth Siddal was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s artistic and spiritual muse, playing Beatrice to his Dante. But Fanny Cornforth, pictured here in Rossetti’s Bocca Baciata, was a muse of a more sensual and seductive nature. Her hair is wild and free, her garment unbuttoned. The inspiration for this piece was a line from Bocaccio’s Decameron: “The…
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