The Handwriting of Jane Morris

You may remember Dutch artist Margje Bijl from my previous blog posts about her project “Reflections on Jane Morris”. If you’re not familiar with her yet, let me introduce you to her. I believe she has an uncanny resemblance with Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphaelite muse who lived from 1839 till 1914. As I described in…
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Mnemosyne

Via Theoi.com: MNEMOSYNE was Titan goddess of memory and remembrance and the inventress of language and words. As a Titan daughter of Ouranos (Heaven), Mnemosyne was also a goddess of time. She represented the rote memorisation required, before the introduction of writing, to preserve the stories of history and sagas of myth. In this role she was represented…
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Ah, Pandora

There is a problem that arises as you become more and more immersed in Pre-Raphaelite art:  it is quite hard to stick to a small, select group of favorites.  I think I love them all.  I wonder if I am losing my ability to be discerning. My feelings about paintings seem to shuffle and shift…
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A discussion of Pre-Raphaelite women on BBC Radio 4

Women’s Hour visits the Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the Tate to discuss the female Pre-Raphaelite artists.  I am pleased with the the attention paid to Elizabeth Siddal. In particular, her illustration of The Lady of Shalott is given a nice bit of attention.  They also talk about Rosa Brett, Jane Burden Morris and May Morris.  You can…
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Delightful! The Rossettis as cartoon characters

You know I love the Rossetti family, but I have never thought of them as adorable before.  Until I saw the illustrations of Chiara Moriconi, who captures the Rossetti clan delightfully. Here’s a link to the Rossetti album on Facebook, and a wonderful video that introduces members of Rossetti’s circle via chiaramoriconi.com.  

Transposed onto the Blank Canvas

Today is a thrilling day as I have just received a beautiful and gracious gift from artist Margje Bijl.  You may remember Margje from my post about her project, Reflections on Jane Morris.  If you missed that post, please go read it.  Her work is fascinating and revolves around not only her uncanny physical similarity to…
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Reflections on Jane Morris

Imagine discovering a double from another century. In 2004, it happened to Dutch artist Margje Bijl. She was given a photograph of Jane Morris by an acquaintance and at first glance thought she was looking at herself. Intrigued by Jane and inspired by their similarity, she has created the project ‘Reflections on Jane Morris’, in…
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Jane Morris as Beatrice

Although Rossetti painted Jane Morris repeatedly, it is a bit unusual to see her painted as Beatrice.  Beatrice, Dante Alighieri’s  unrequited love,  is a character Rossetti strongly associated with Elizabeth Siddal.   There is another painting of Jane Morris as Beatrice at The Rossetti Archive titled  The Salutation of Beatrice, also known as The Lady in…
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Link: How a Pre-Raphaelite model changed our image of angels

Jane Burden: How a Pre-Raphaelite model changed our image of angels Prof. Roger Homan considers how the Pre-Raphaelite model Jane Burden changed our collective mental image of the appearance of angels. I found this to be an interesting post,  although the author does mention Jane’s appearing in Burne-Jones’s The Beguiling of Merlin, when the model…
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“In either case she is a wonder.”

Throughout his relationship with Elizabeth Siddal, Rossetti painted and drew her repeatedly and almost obsessively, creating what Ford Madox Brown termed a “drawer full of Guggums” (Rossetti and Siddal’s pet name for each other).  In later years, Rossetti fixed upon Jane Morris as his muse and recreated her image again and again with the same…
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Images of Guinevere

Medievalism grew in popularity early in the nineteenth century England and had a definite influence on William Morris especially, who even rode a horse in a toy suit of armor as a child. It is interesting that the story of Lancelot and Guinevere can be seen as a parallel to the story of William Morris and…
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The Day-Dream

The Day-Dream (for a picture) The thronged boughs of the shadowy sycamore Still bear young leaflets half the summer through ; From when the robin ‘gainst the unhidden blue Perched dark, till now, deep in the leafy core, The embowered throstle’s urgent wood-notes soar Through summer silence. Still the leaves come new ; Yet never…
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La Pia de Tolomei

Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted La Pia de Tolomei at the beginning of his affair with Jane Morris, the wife of his friend William Morris. In this painting, Jane models as La Pia, from Dante Alighieri’s poem the Divine Comedy. La Pia is found by Dante during his travel through Purgatory, in Part II of the…
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Visitor Email: Photo of Jane Morris

“I have cropped this picture from the 1874 photo of the Burne-Jones and Morris families. It was not a particularly bright sunny day when the picture was taken (better for reducing harsh contrast and bringing out a wider tonal range) and given the photographic equipment of the time, Jane was probably trying to stay still…
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Jane Morris: An Enigmatic Muse

In 1857, Rossetti and a small group of artists that included William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones were working in Oxford, painting the Union Murals.  One night, they attended a performance put on by actors from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.  Seated in the gallery below were Jane Burden and her sister.  Rossetti, struck by Jane’s…
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The Defence of Guenevere

The Defence of Guenevere, by William Morris But, knowing now that they would have her speak, She threw her wet hair backward from her brow, Her hand close to her mouth touching her cheek, As though she had had there a shameful blow, And feeling it shameful to feel ought but shame All through her…
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Astarte Syriaca

Astarte Syriaca (painting and poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti) Mystery: lo! betwixt the sun and moon Astarte of the Syrians: Venus Queen Ere Aphrodite was. In silver sheen Her twofold girdle clasps the infinite boon Of bliss whereof the heaven and earth commune: And from her neck’s inclining flower-stem lean Love-freighted lips and absolute eyes…
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POSSESSED: A Musical

I was thrilled to receive the following comment this morning on this post: “I was very excited to read your blog about the Jane Burden plaque. My musical, POSSESSED, about Jane Burden’s relationship with Morris and Rossetti is being showcased at the Oxford Playhouse in 2008.” I followed the link to the POSSESSED site and…
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Proserpine

Just as Rossetti did with Elizabeth Siddal, he painted Jane Morris obsessively. It may seem fitting that he posed Jane in the classic myth of Proserpine in this painting, which can be considered one of his most recognizable works. Proserpine was the daughter of the goddess Ceres (personally, I prefer the Greek version, in which…
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A Visit to the Red House

Artist Paul Noonan has been kind and generous enough to share his personal photos of his trip to Red House four years ago. Thank you, Paul, for sharing with us! I encourage you all to visit his website, http://www.portr8s.com. He has a gift for portraiture and has been greatly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. Please don’t…
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