Skeletons in the Closet: A Look at Bluebeard

Fatima was painted by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1862 and depicts the last wife of Bluebeard, the ancient serial killer who has the bodies of his previous wives hidden away. Written by Charles Perrault, the story of Bluebeard was originally published in 1697. Bluebeard hails from the days when children’s tales were gruesome, often cautionary, tales. … Read more

100 Years After Her Death, Jane Morris Continues to Inspire

Jane Burden and her sister Bessie were attending a theatre performance when they were spotted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.  When Gabriel asked Jane to model for them, her initial answer was yes–although later she failed to appear.  Burne-Jones was apparently able to convince Jane and her family that their intentions were respectable … Read more

Pre-Raphaelites and Shakespeare: The Death of Lady Macbeth

Macbeth is such a powerful play that we fear invoking the name of it in the theatre.  It’s one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies and with so many dramatic elements, I’m surprised that the Pre-Raphaelites did not illustrate it more.  Murder, greed, ambition, fear…Macbeth has it all. The Rossetti drawing above is a preliminary study for … Read more

Special event at Highgate Cemetery for the 150th anniversary of Lizzie Siddal’s death.

February 11th is the 150th anniversary of Lizzie’s death. To commemorate this, Highgate Cemetery (Lizzie’s final resting place) is having a Talk at the cemetery on that day by Lucinda Hawksley, author of Lizzie Siddal: Face of the Pre-Raphaelites.  Being in the U.S., I will not be able to attend but my ever-faithful friend Kirsty … Read more

Ophelia and the Pre-Raphaelites

Ophelia is a captivating character, one that inspired many of the Pre-Raphaelites and other Victorian artists. For those unfamiliar with Ophelia, she is Hamlet’s innocent young love interest in one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Hamlet. Hamlet loved Ophelia – but after his meeting with the ghost of his father (Act I) he feels compelled to … Read more

The Blessed Damozel

The Blessed Damozel, Dante Gabriel Rossetti The blessed damozel leaned out From the gold bar of Heaven; Her eyes were deeper than the depth Of waters stilled at even; She had three lilies in her hand, And the stars in her hair were seven. Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, No wrought flowers did … Read more