Currently there's an exhibit at the Met in NYC. When I first studied them, I was fascinated by the story of this group and many of their pieces are truly outstanding.
Taking photos of paintings that are behind glass or varnished is a challenge as you'll note here. Additionally, most museums allow photography but require that you turn off your flash. A selection of Rossetti paintings top and below.
click to enlarge gallery images below:
The first selection in the gallery is the Prosperine painting. The model was Jane Morris.
As a contrast,
note how William Morris paints his wife Jane Morris.
She is portrayed much more delicately than Rossetti, who always painted her with more masculine attributes.
In Rossetti works, her body always looks big and strong and her facial feature although elegant, are "thick" and lean toward the sensuous or seductive. His paintings of femmes fatales are famous.
Simeon Solomon (gallery item #9), enjoyed to painting men with effeminate qualities called beautiful boys. Solomon and Rossetti helped to trademark the large sensuous lips as shown in some the gallery images.
Symbolism in Rossetti's work (first 6 gallery photos)
"In Catholic symbolism, the pomegranate as a rule alludes to the Church because of the inner unity of countless seeds in one and the same fruit. Because of its many seeds, it was also a symbol of fertility, and resurrection. It is often seen with the Virgin and Child. " In contrast, Dante's portrait of the mythical Proserpine, Queen of the Underworld, the pomegranate is the fruit that she was forced to eat in order to live on earth for half a year.
The Beata Beatrix (gallery images 3-6) recalls his deceased wife. Rossetti anguished over the death of his young wife of 24, Lizzie Siddal, for whom he felt tremendous guilt. The poppies dropped by the bird most likely refer to her death by laudanum- apiate. The painting also recalls his identification with Beatrice from the Divine Comedy and with Dante Allegri, its author.
The Beata Beatrix is located in the Chicago Museum and the other two are from UK- Birmingham area museums. A large archive of Pre-Raphaelite era paintings and sketches can easily be accessed online.
"Poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti died #onthisday in 1882. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais in 1848. The brotherhood sought a return to the intense colours, incredible detail and complex compositions of 15th-century Italian art. From the 1860s Rossetti also became a pivotal figure in what became known as the Aesthetic movement, at the centre of which was the celebration of beauty and art for its own sake http://ow.ly/10iZXm"
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