Archive for dante gabriel rossetti


Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by echostains

The purpose of the artist’s Muse is manifold.  That elusive being who showers  inspiration on man and bathes in the glory of the artists recreation.  The Pre Raphaelites had an eye for these beautiful women and celebrated their beauty with paint – if not always by deed (you know who you are Mr Rossetti).  I came across this video which is accompanied by the most wonderful music, featuring Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris (the more well-known of the Muses).  The artists include  Burne-Jones, Millais, Rossetti and Waterhouse: timeless art.

Video by  with thanks!

My previous post about the art of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, featuring a poll to find the top Pre Raphaelite painting.

There’s now 4 poems in the American Gothic Poetry Challenge over on Bookstains

The Wonderful Myth

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, HISTORY with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by echostains

I’ve just come across this video about the ever popular Pre-Raphaelite painters.  Some of the artists, I am not familiar with – Edward Roberts Hughes and Charles Lock Eastlake are two of them.  But the video is just the thing to transport the spirit into another age (Victorian)- then into  yet another age (the ancient world of myth).  It just goes to show that a good story never dies and shall always linger on in our collective romantic memory:-)   The video is rather long and the music is by Vengellis (not a fan) but the paintings both recognised and unfamiliar are a veritable feast for the eyes 🙂

The video is by gilcarosio – thanks!

PS Things are hotting up over at my other blog Bookstains!  More poems have been added to the Dickens challenge:-)

Just click Charles to have a look – and perhaps join in:-)

Poll – My Pre-Raphaelite Favorite

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by echostains


Beata beatrix by Rossetti

Pre- Raphaelite fans will be delighted with the art world’s latest find.  It’s a previously unseen drawing by  Dante Gabriel Rossetti of William Morris’s wife Jane.  The drawing which has been in a private collection shall go on display in January next year.  It is a full-scale pastel drawing called Mnemosyne.  The actual painting is on display in the Delaware Art Museum.  The drawing will be shown at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  Jane Morris‘s beauty came to typify the Pre -Raphaelite idea of classical beauty.  Morris and Elizabeth Siddal are immortalised in their art.

The drawing study for the 1881 painting Mnemosyne which will go on display next year

Much has been wrote about the Pre- Raphaelite brotherhood which were founded in 1848 by  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John  Everett Millais.  The brotherhood consisted of critics, poets and painters. William Michael Rossetti (brother to Gabriel) James Collinson, Frederick George Stephens, and Thomas Woolner made up the seven original members – other artists were added later.  The Pre -Raphaelites believed that the classical poses and compositions of Raphael in particular had a corrupting influence on academic art teaching.  Joshua Reynolds, (whom they nicknamed ‘Sloshua’) came in for some criticism for his painting technique which the Pre -Raphaelites considered ‘sloppy and formulaic form of academic Mannerism’.  They wished to return art to use of abundant detail and rich bright colours seen in Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art.

Isabella and the pot of Basil by Holman Hunt

The Brotherhood’s early doctrines were expressed in four declarations:

  1. to have genuine ideas to express;
  2. to study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them;
  3. to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote;
  4. and, most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues



Christ in the House of his Parents by Millais

One of my favorite Pre -Raphaelites is John William Waterhouse,a later Pre- Raphaelite.  I have  included him here, to take the place of non painter William Micheal Rossetti.

work by Ford Maddox Brown

To Let by Collinson


The  critic and champion of the P.R. was John Ruskin and although an exquisite draftsman, but I haven’t included him this time.  I have however, included Ford Maddox Brown instead of Frederick George Stephens, as Stephens was the Pre- Raphaelites  promoter, rather than artist. 

The Beguiling of Merlin by Burne-Jones

 Thomas Woolner is also ommitted as he was a sculptor rather than painter.  He has been replaced byEdward Burne-Jones.

The Pre- Raphaelites  were no strangers to scandal and Millais painting of the Virgin Mary (Christ in the House of his Parents) in 1850 came in for severe criticism by the writer Charles Dickens;-

“According to Dickens, Millais made the Holy Family look like alcoholics and slum-dwellers, adopting contorted and absurd “medieval” poses’.”

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Dickens of course had a lot to say about most things and for the most part said it well.  But here is an opportunity for you to have your say in my ‘What the Dickens?’ poetry challenge over on Bookstains – just click Dickens for details:-)


More about this Pre Raphaelite painting here  More on the Pre- Raphaelites here  Images;- Millais here  Holman Hunt here  Collinson image here Burne-Jones image here John William Waterhouse image from here – Thanks to all!

Scary Rhymes

Posted in ART, POETRY with tags , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by echostains

William Allingham by his wife Helen Allingham

Children’s poetry was always a little frightening when I was growing up.  I was thinking about this recently and I wondered was it because I was a child  and had too much childish imagination or were these poems actually frightening?  So I decided to revisit one and find out….

Giant Golden book of elves and fairies.  Illustration by Garth Williams

A particular  poem ‘Up the Airy Mountains’ or ‘The Fairies’ as it is known used to terrify the wits out of me.  But the terror was actually exciting, something that you looked at through your fingers – an experience to be repeated many times.  This poem still gives me tingles even after all these years.

Up the airy mountain
     Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting,
     For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
     Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
     And white owl’s feather.
Down along the rocky shore
     Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
     Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
     Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
     All night awake. 

High on the hill-top
     The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
     He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
     Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
     From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
     On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
     Of the gay Northern Lights. 

They stole little Bridget
     For seven years long;
When she came down again
     Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
     Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
     But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
     Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
     Watching till she wake. 

By the craggy hill-side,
     Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
     For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
     As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set
     In his bed at night. 

Up the airy mountain
     Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting,
     For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
     Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
     And white owl’s feather.

      — William Allingham 

Of all the fairies, its White Owls feather that seems the most dangerous one. I don’t know why though – maybe it’s because the others are colourful and he is just represented as a feather – a menacing feather (silly I know).  The thought of the frogs with their bulging eyes acting as watchdogs gives an indication of how small the fairies are and this ties in with their spitefulness too – planting thorns in peoples beds!  I do quite like the idea of the crispy pancakes made of yellow tide foam though,.  It paints a picture of the tide coming in and when it leaves a small pancake full of bubbles has been delivered. The poor King with his lost wits is bad enough, but when they steal little Bridget – well that’s just a bit too much – a step too far.  They think that she’s fast asleep but she is really dead with sorrow!  What a horrific image this is to a small child!  It makes one terrified to go to sleep (until next time….)  And yet – they do watch over her hoping that she will wake, which makes me believe that they didn’t kill her at least….


William Allingham (1824 – 89) was an established Irish poet, a man of letters who moved in artistic circles and was a friend of D.G. Rossetti. He married Helen Paterson (better known as Helen Allingham, (b. 1848 1926) the artist. She was a Victorian  watercolourist. Her work is unmistakable and much influenced by the Pre Raphaelites.  She worked  first as an illustrator for the Graphic  weekly magazine and  when she got married devoted more of her time to her true love of water colours.  Several of her pictures were admitted to the Royal Academy Summer exhibition 1874 (the Milkmaid and Wait for me).  She later became the first woman to be admitted full membership of the Royal Watercolourist Society in 1875..

the robin by Helen Allingham

More Allingham poems here

 Helen Allingham’s website and pictures here

The Fairies poem here

Lots of stolen fairy children here in these poems

 Lots of poems to read online from the Gutenberg catalogue

Please don’t be offended if I don’t answer your posts for a couple of days, I am away for a few days so have scheduled quite a few posts.  I promise to reply to any comments when I get back.