We are the Earth

“Go to nature in all singleness of heart… rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing; believing all things to be right and good, and rejoicing always in the truth.” Modern Painters, John Ruskin As I contemplate Earth Day, I’m mindful of a thread that ties today’s world with the 19th century artists who painted in … Read more

Majestic Maria

Maria Zambaco, Cupid and Psyche, Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The saga of Maria Zambaco is one of the most melodramatic in Pre-Raphaelite lore, which is remarkable given the abundance of tumult that surrounded the Brotherhood. Born into a wealthy Anglo-Greek family, Maria was an accomplished artist who studied under sculptor Auguste Rodin. She also appears in works by several Pre-Raphaelite artists, including Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who … Read more

The Clue in the Old Book

For Christmas, my husband surprised me with a nearly pristine 1905 first edition set of William Holman Hunt’s Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This is what I looked like when I opened the two volumes. Shocked, grateful, overwhelmed. Loved. Books have long been the key to my heart. Antique books hold a special place in … Read more

The Pre-Raphaelite Recipe

Pre-Raphaelite art is known for its exquisite luminosity – but how was this effect achieved? Why was it so radical at the time? The Status Quo In the early nineteenth century, the majority of work produced by British artists consisted of darkly-colored paintings – partly because of their reverence for seventeenth century masterpieces, but also … Read more

Birth of the Brotherhood

Mid-Victorian London, 1848: twenty-year old Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, 21, and John Everett Millais, 19, bond over their artistic passions and their shared disdain for the Royal Academy, believing that British art has become predictable and formulaic. Eager to forge a new direction, they are also intrigued to find inspiration from a time period … Read more

September: A Month of Pre-Raphaelite Origins

Happy Wombat Friday! We’ve reached September, which is an important month in Pre-Raphaelite history – on the 8th of September 1848, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed. Throughout the month, the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood blog will be exploring the early days of the PRB, early works, members, and, of course, the women involved. Thanks for joining us!

The Timeless Scourge of the Overdose

Well over a century-and-a-half has passed since her death, yet Elizabeth Siddal still commands attention through her art, poetry, and the Pre-Raphaelite works she appears in. As artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s muse, Lizzie was a powerful influence on his early Pre-Raphaelite works. She then boldly made the move from model to artist and embarked on a career … Read more

Thank you, Lizzie Siddal

Photograph of Elizabeth Siddal

Today marks the birth of the woman who has had a deep and lasting influence on my life. Despite never actually meeting her, I know her face as well as my own. Through her art, poetry, and the Pre-Raphaelite works she appears in, Elizabeth Siddal has the power to captivate. The story of her life … Read more

#WombatFriday What’s on your summer reading list?

Wombat Friday Love and Light

It’s Wombat Friday and T-Dub sure is excited about his latest poolside read! Light and Love: The Extraordinary Developments of Julia Margaret Cameron and Mary Hillier by the ever-charming Kirsty Stonell Walker. Want to add some Pre-Raphaelite flavor to your summer reading? Here’s a Rossetti reading list based on books the artist enjoyed, and a … Read more

Book Review – Light and Love: The Extraordinary Developments of Julia Margaret Cameron and Mary Hillier

Kirsty Stonell Walker’s Light and Love: The Extraordinary Developments of Julia Margaret Cameron and Mary Hillier intriguingly explores how the gift of a camera transformed the lives of two women, one the lady of the house, the other her maid. Together they created a unique body of work that influenced countless generations of photographers. Julia … Read more

Barely Clare

I confess that Clare Mackail, youngest granddaughter of Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones, had previously been a mere blip on my radar. That is, of course, until Tim McGee channeled his fascination for her into Barely Clare: The Little-Known Life of Clare Mackail. Of Burne-Jones’ three grandchildren, Clare has been overshadowed by the accomplishments of … Read more

Wombats and Wedding Bells

This week, I have a special #WombatFriday to share with you! In the words of Jane Eyre, “Reader, I married him.” On Tuesday, my husband and I were married in an intimate ceremony quite close to the ocean. Due to the times we live in, we were limited to four guests and the entire party, minister included, … Read more

“You see, Watson, but you do not observe.”

Throughout history, humankind has created innovative ways to see. Loupes, magnifying glasses, lorgnettes, stereoscopes, telescopes, and so many other intricate inventions. We’ve always searched for ways to magnify. We strive to see both as far away as the stars and planets and as microscopically as the smallest organisms on Earth. What do we do with … Read more

Embracing the Revolution

Every Friday since the 25th of January, 2013,  I have posted a silly wombat-related photo on social media as a fun tribute to one of my favorite artists, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his undeniable passion for these delightful marsupials. You may think it’s a ridiculous thing to do and in the grand scheme of things, … Read more

Pre-Raphaelites in Pop Culture: The Woman in White

“Through all the ways of our unintelligible world, the trivial and the terrible walk hand in hand together.” –Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White Author Wilkie Collins was strolling home one evening with his brother, artist Charles Allston Collins, and Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir John Everett Millais, when a chance encounter with a distraught woman in white … Read more

A Wondrous Pursuit

Today is  LizzieSiddal.com‘s 16th anniversary! February 1st is a happy memory for me; it’s a day that represents an idea, the beginning of a pursuit that has become something more fulfilling than I could have imagined.  Compiling information about Lizzie Siddal online led to the birth of the blog you’re reading right now. I am … Read more

Beyond the Brotherhood: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy

The Beyond the Brotherhood: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy exhibition is currently running at the the U.K.’s Southampton City Art Gallery until Feb. 1, 2020, after which it will move to the Russell-Cotes gallery from February 21 until June 21, 2020. The exhibit’s accompanying softcover catalog is the latest addition to my bulging Pre-Raphaelite bookshelves, and it … Read more

The Women of Whitechapel

Attempting to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper has been a cottage industry for over a hundred years. But, until now, there has never been a concerted effort to truly understand the women he killed. Dedicated Ripperologists have long pored over books, crime scene descriptions, and witness accounts to form theories about methods, motives, … Read more

‘Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood’ Horrified Me – At First

This post contains spoilers from Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Please do not read further if you have not seen the film yet. You have been kindly warned. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood captures the vivid technicolor dream of 1969, a free-wheeling world in the midst of change. Sharon Tate and the … Read more