Why write about Pre-Raphaelite women?

I receive many positive emails through this blog because, for the most part, people in the world are great.   The negative ones stand out, though, and occasionally eat at me. In a recent message, someone (I assume not a regular reader of this blog) questioned my feminism because I am devoted to Pre-Raphaelite art….
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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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Eos

Eos is goddess of the dawn; she brings forth hope of the new day.  She opens the gates of Heaven for the sun to rise, allowing her brother Helios (the sun god) to begin his daily journey across the sky.  In the Homeric hymns, she is depicted as accompanying Helios. She is also the mother…
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Ariadne

Ariadne was a daughter of Minos, king of Crete.  She defied her father by helping his prisoner, Theseus, who had been imprisoned in the Minotaur’s labrynth.  Ariadne gave him the thread that he used to find his way to freedom after killing the monster.  In helping Theseus, she risked the anger and retribution of her…
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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.

Joanna Boyce: Elgiva

Reading about the lives of women artists in any time period can be frustrating.  Their biographies are almost always peppered with obstacles that their male counterparts don’t seem to face. So, it is rare and wonderful to read that Joanna Boyce’s first exhibited painting was not only well received, but was praised by critic John…
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Pippa Passes

Elizabeth Siddal, discovered in a millinery shop, was not content to be merely an artist’s model.  She could have been satisfied with her role as the lofty muse to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but instead chose to pursue inspirations and desires of her own. In an era where women were not encouraged to achieve anything other…
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Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale

Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (1871-1945) was born years after the original members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had gone their separate ways.   It is obvious when looking at her work that what we now consider the “Pre-Raphaelite style” had a great influence on her.   Like many of the Pre-Raphaelites,  her subjects were shown in a Medieval style…
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