About Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood

Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood is my journey.

It began in 1997, when I read about Elizabeth Siddal, a Pre-Raphaelite model who boldly became an artist herself. When I learned that upon her death her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, had buried his manuscript of poems with her and then exhumed her to retrieve them seven years later, I was aghast. What further shocked me was that this macabre action became the narrative Lizzie was often known by, instead of her own artistic endeavors.

After passionately studying her for several years, I created LizzieSiddal.com in 2004, with the mission to share resources and discuss Elizabeth Siddal’s legacy with others. At the time of this writing, I’ve devoted seventeen years to reclaiming the narrative, as my heart follows the call to give her, and other Victorian women, the understanding and respect they rarely received in life.

Somehow along the way, I discovered that the more I delve into Pre-Raphaelite art, the more I seem to discover myself

On this site, I chronicle what has captivated me as I follow this quest of mine. I am so grateful that through this blog, I have made connections with others who follow the same pursuits.

If you are new to Pre-Raphaelite art, I highly recommend these books:

Authors and Publishers 

Connect with Stephanie Chatfield

I can also be found on  Twitter (@preraphsister). There is a Facebook page for this site (Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood) and a fan page for my site LizzieSiddal.com.


Stephanie Chatfield is an independent scholar whose research focuses on Victorian Art, especially the Pre-Raphaelites. In 2004 she created LizzieSiddal.com, a resource for those interested in the life of Pre-Raphaelite model and painter Elizabeth Siddal. She established her website โ€˜The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhoodโ€™ in 2007 to highlight the work of women artists associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Circle. Through her popular online publications, she has been a leading advocate of independent research and discourse on Victorian art.

“History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created.” โ€“William Morris

32 thoughts on “About Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood”

  1. I am very inspired by pre raphaelite paintings for my photography. I often find myself wondering what it would be like to be one of those women in the paintings. This site is like a treasure trove. I just found it and i am excited!

  2. Hello, I am so pleased to see and read your web site: How marvellous.
    This year (1912) I have started to take photographs of models in a pseudo- Pre-Raphaelite style. It is such a shame I am here in the UK. I wish I could meet and photograph you. I am sure you would inspire and make me so happy to make beautiful images of yourself. Be happy and I look forward to seeing more.
    Peace and Love.

  3. I found on Pintrest a picture of an embroidery kit of a tapestry. The kit was titled “May Moriss c. 1885″. This was posted to Pintrest in July 2010. Upon research, i discovered May Moriss was William and Jane Moriss’s daughter. I am interested in finding out if this kit is available. To view the kit you can research it on Pinterest or go to my Pintrest pages and find it pinned on my board titled, ‘EMBROIDERY”. I would appreciate anything you can find out for me.

  4. My previous post was posted accidentally posted with a misspelled first name. This to correct that mistake. My first nsme is Linda .

  5. After posting the correction of the spelling of my first name on my first post, I could no longer see my first post. So as to be certain my first post is answered, I am reposting.

    On an App titled Pintrest, I discovered a picture of an embroidery kit of a tapestry titled “May Moriss c. 1885”. Upon research, I discovered May was the daughter. Of William and Jane Moriss and had modled for several of their paintings. I am very interested in finding out if this kit is available and if so, where I could purchase it. If you are interested in seeing this picture, it can be seen on my board on Pintrest, titled “EMBROIDERY”. If there is anything at all you could do to help me to find anything about this embroidery kit, I would appreciate it as I have not been successful in finding any information at all about it. The way I found your site was by the profile of the person who posted the picture. I was not able to contact him but your site was listed in his profile and I looked up May Moriss on your site and got the only information about her that i have.
    I await your response. Thank you

    • I don’t think that particular kit is for sale; if it is I certainly wasn’t able to fibd it. All I found were kits by Nicola Jarvis, based on May Morris designs. She has stich projects based on May Morris’ robin and floral designs:

  6. Hi, Even though Stephanie you are American, you are beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ Any spot that I am very old, see above “This year (1912) ” if only I was around then or early. I am still keen on the PRs and photographing Goddesses. Please keep posting, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” T.S Eliot. Love Gerry

  7. Lucky day….found Morris’ Brer Rabbit linen fabric in Los Angeles for believe it or not, $2.00 a yard. Bought the entire roll. Not sure what I’m doing with it, but I am sure that an opportunity will present itself.

  8. I’m just getting into Pre-Raphaelite and venturing on a journey to find out more about them. Glad I found your site. I’m in the UK and just booked to see an exhibition in November called A Victorian Obsession at Leighton House Museum.

  9. Tina and other PRB and PRSH folks, Looking at the web page The exhibition in November called A Victorian Obsession at Leighton House Museum looks great. I am always keen to photograph in PreRaph style and have recently made images of Ophelia, if interested in visiting me for the day in Herts, Uk. Contact me. Pi (AKA Gerry)

  10. This is such a wonderful site! The women associated with the PRB — wives, lovers, models — are so often cloaked in mystery, and it is fascinating to learn more about them. I am currently reading “Effie,” an interesting and well-written bio of Millais’ wife (and Ruskin’s ex). Suzanne Cooper luckily had thousands of letters that gave an almost day by day account of this woman’s life, so the details in the book give a vivid picture of the period as well as Effie Gray herself — and her relatives. Thank you for bringing all this information to light. (And I just realized that I had been reading moments ago about another Gary on this site: Keomi. Wonder if they are related? I seriously doubt it.)

  11. Just wanted to say I love your site and always hope that I will find you have blogged something. I know some people seem to be very snobby about the Preraphaelites but the art is so beautiful and the lives of the artists and their models are fascinating. So thank you so much.

  12. A strange confluence of happenings: I bought the Folio Society edition of “The Pre-Raphaelites and Their World” by Wm. Michael Rossetti (and am through half of it), pulled Harold Bloom’s “Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages” from my shelves to consider Christina’s “Goblin Market” for my granddaughters (seven- and nine-years), and, yesterday, my youngest granddaughter recited, unprompted, Christina’s “The Caterpillar” to me while out having ice cream. Finally, I stumble across your fine website. Very nice work on your part!

    If I believed in such things I wd say there’s a Will at work here.

    I don’t know if your page is still active, but I wd hope so.

    Thank you!

  13. In the matter of curious case of Marie Euphrosyne Spartali, puis Stillman (1844 – 1927) who has (famously) been missing from the bench of P-R Sisterhood.
    Shed some light please.

  14. Trolling the internet for PR images finally led me here!
    How nice!
    I think now it is time for me to read a book I’ve had for ages called “Pre-Raphaelites in Love.”

  15. Hello! What a brilliant website. I have researched some artists for my art essay, and need to reference the websites I have used in a bibliography. Unfortunately I do not know whether to refer to your website as based in UK or USA – which are you?

    Thank you, I appreciate your help – your website has been a lifesaver!

  16. I have to tell someone my deep dark secret.
    I am a museum “ART toucher”
    I have been doing it for years.
    I make excuses for this stemming from my Italian heritage of ‘huggers & kissers’ and therefore, to me it is only “natural”

    The first time I did it I was at the Carnegie Museum in my home of Pittsburgh, PA USA
    I touched an exhibit of a covered wagon.
    The next time was years later in New York at the Cloister museum I touched a Maxfield Parrish painting.
    Then I touched every garment at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) at the Los Angeles costume exhibit films ranging from Mrs. Brown to Chicago, to a few Hobbits!
    But my most excited touch was when I touched a Dante Rossetti painting at the Pre-Raphalite exhibit (museum to be not mentioned)
    And then again just recently a stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones at the Princeton museum.
    One of my favorite artists of one of my favorite art movements!
    So there….I feel much better telling the sisterhood!

    Like the original secret society I hope you will all keep my secret “a secret”. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your Sister, Lisa Marie

  17. Hi, i’m doing a presentation on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, what should I include e.g. muses, ethnicity, literature? I have chosen ‘The Beloved’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as my subject matter.


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