August 30, 2013

Rossetti - Great Artists

The Beloved by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1865-1866). This work is currently at the Liverpool (UK) Museum, on loan from Tate Gallery, London. In The Beloved, Rossetti looked beyond the Caucasian type of beauty. Each of the bridesmaids has a darker skin than the bride. The one centre right, half-hidden, was painted from a Mrs Eaton, who sat for Jewish subjects by other artists. The bridesmaid on the extreme right was modelled a Romany woman who was a model and mistress of the artist Frederick Sandys. Quite early on in the planning of 'The Beloved', Rossetti wished to include a little black girl carrying a cup before the Bride. This was later changed to a black boy. This was the period of the American Civil War and the questions of slavery and abolition were hot topics in the newspapers. Rossetti's brother William, his sister Christina and other artist friends came out on the abolitionist side but Rossetti's views on the issue are not clear. Was the black boy an attempt to allude obliquely to the slavery question in his picture?
I'm as interested in songs and art as in weapons technology.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Rossetti had an obvious interest in woman (which I share :)

The Pre-Raphaelites believed the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael (who painted most of his works in the early Sixteenth century (up to 1520) in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art. The brotherhood wanted a return to the abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions of Quattrocento (Fifteenth century) Italian art hence Pre-Raphael.

More details of Rossetti's life, his models, poetry and pictures are here .

Self portrait of Rossetti (1847)


Bocca Baciata 1859. The model was Fanny Cornforth, the principal inspiration for Rossetti's sensuous figures.

Alexa Wilding (1879) her real name.

Portrait of Marie Spartali Stillman (1869)

Venus Verticordia (1864-1868). From 1864 till his death Rossetti was constantly altering this great work. Nothing is perfect.

Joli Coeur (1867) - very saucy.

Woman Combing Her Hair (1865)

Proserpine (1874) (the model was Jane Morris (1839-1914))
I'll add more to this odd assortment of weapons, songs and art as I can.


david g said...

Wonderful article. Beauty in our world is all too scant.

Pete said...

Hi David G

Thanks for visiting and for your comments.

Yes there's too little beauty. I need to do more posts on art on this blog.