Thursday, December 5, 2019

Pre-Raphaelite Who's Who: Elizabeth Siddall

Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall (1829 – 1862). English artists' model, poet and artist. She was painted and drawn extensively by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including Walter Deverell, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais (including his notable 1852 painting Ophelia) and her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  He met her in 1849, when she was modelling for Deverell and she was the primary model and muse for him throughout most of his youth.
The number of paintings and drawings Rossetti did of her are said to number in the thousands. Perhaps best known among Rossetti's works from Siddall is Beata Beatrix, which depicts a praying Beatrice (from Dante Alighieri) and was painted in 1863, a year after Siddall's death.
In 1852 Siddall began to study with Rossetti. She produced many sketches, drawings, and watercolours as well as one oil painting. Her sketches are laid out in a fashion similar to Pre-Raphaelite compositions illustrating Arthurian legend and other idealized medieval themes, and she exhibited with the Pre-Raphaelites at the summer exhibition at Russell Place in 1857.

Siddall overdosed on laudanum in February 1862. A stomach pump was used, but to no avail and she died on 11 February 1862.

Beata Beatrix, by D. G. Rossetti

Portrait by D. G. Rossetti

Regina Cordium, by D. G. Rossetti

Lady Affixing Pennant to a Knight's Spear, by E. Siddall

Lady Clare, by E. Siddall

Madonna and Child, by E. Siddall

Ophelia, by J. Everett Millais

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Red Hair in Art: Edward Robert Hughes

Edward Robert Hughes (1851 – 1914) was an English painter who worked prominently in watercolours, but also produced a number of significant oil paintings. He was influenced by his uncle and eminent artist, Arthur Hughes who was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and worked closely with one of the Brotherhood's founders, William Holman Hunt.
Hughes held several important offices within the artistic community over his lifetime such as becoming a member of the Art Workers Guild in 1888, and was on their committee from 1895 to 1897. He was elected to Associate Membership of The Royal Water Colour Society (ARWS) on 18 February 1891 and he chose as his diploma work for election to full membership a mystical piece (Oh, What's That in the Hollow?) inspired by a verse by Christina Rossetti entitled Amor Mundi. His painting A Witch was given by the Royal Watercolour Society to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to mark the coronation in 1902. In later years Hughes served as the Vice-President of the RWS before leaving in 1903.

Portrait of Bell and Dorothy Freeman

Oh, what's that in the hollow...

Midsummer Eve

Making Music

Monna Giovanna

Il Paino

Portrait of Anthony Freeman

Portrait of Norman Leith Hay-Clark

Portrait of William Holman Hunt

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Red Hair in Art: Oleg Oprisco

Oleg Oprisco is a contemporary photographer from Lviv, Ukraine.
To find more about him read this interview and check out his website, his other websites and his Facebook page.
Here are some of his photos featuring red hair.

Blue Leaves, Red Hair

Filament of Fate 2

Filament of Fate

Instead of Breath






Friday, November 29, 2019

Pre-Raphaelite Who's Who: Jane Morris

Jane Morris (née Burden, 1839 – 1914) was an English embroiderer who became a model and muse to her husband William Morris and to Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
In October 1857 she and her sister Elizabeth attended a performance of the Drury Lane Theatre Company in Oxford. Jane Burden was noticed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, who were members of a group of artists painting the Oxford Union murals. Struck by her beauty, they asked her to model for them. Burden sat mostly for Rossetti as a model for Queen Guinevere and afterwards for William Morris, who was working on an easel painting, La Belle Iseult. During this period, Morris fell in love with Burden and they became engaged, though by her own admission she was not in love with Morris.

After her engagement, she was privately educated to become a gentleman's wife. Her keen intelligence allowed her to recreate herself. She was a voracious reader who became proficient in French and Italian and she became an accomplished pianist with a strong background in classical music. Her manners and speech became refined to an extent that contemporaries referred to her as "queenly." Later in life, she had no trouble moving in upper-class circles.
Jane married William Morris at St Michael at the Northgate in Oxford on 26 April 1859. After the marriage, the Morrises lived at Red House in Bexleyheath, Kent. While living there, they had two daughters, Jane Alice and Mary, who later edited her father's works.
In 1871, Morris and Rossetti took out a joint tenancy on Kelmscott Manor on the Gloucestershire–Oxfordshire–Wiltshire borders. William Morris went to Iceland, leaving his wife and Rossetti to furnish the house and spend the summer there. Jane Morris had become closely attached to Rossetti and became a favourite muse of his. They shared a deep emotional relationship and she inspired Rossetti to write poetry and create some of his best paintings.

Here are some of the paintings featuring Jane Morris.

Astarte Syriaca, by D. G. Rossetti

Jane Morris (The Blue Silk Dress), by D. G. Rossetti

La donna della finestra, by D. G. Rossetti

Pia de' Tolomei, by D. G. Rossetti

Proserpine, by D. G. Rossetti

The Day Dream, by D. G. Rossetti

The Salutation of Beatrice, by D. G. Rossetti

Jane and Mary Morris

Red Hair in Art: John William Godward

John William Godward (1861 – 1922) was an English painter from the end of the Neo-Classicist era. He was a protégé of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, but his style of painting fell out of favor with the rise of modern art. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that "the world is not big enough for [both] myself and a Picasso".
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887. When he moved to Italy with one of his models in 1912, his family broke off all contact with him and even cut his image from family pictures. They were ashamed of his suicide and burned his papers. Only one photograph of Godward is known to survive.
Godward was a Victorian Neo-Classicist, and therefore, in theory, a follower of Frederic Leighton. However, he is more closely allied stylistically to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, with whom he shared a penchant for the rendering of Classical architecture — in particular, static landscape features constructed from marble.
The vast majority of Godward's extant images feature women in Classical dress posed against landscape features, although there are some semi-nude and fully nude figures included in his oeuvre.
Given that Classical scholarship was more widespread among the potential audience for his paintings during his lifetime than in the present day, meticulous research of detail was important in order to attain a standing as an artist in this genre.
In addition, Godward painstakingly and meticulously rendered other important features in his paintings, animal skins and wildflowers.
One of his models was Lily Pettigrew (you can see her in the first six paintings below).

A Summer Rose

Idle moments

Venus Binding Her Hair

Venus at the Bath

Portrait of Lily Pettigrew

Beauty in a Marble Room (most likely Lily Pettigrew)

Mischief and Repose

A Lady

A Pompeian Lady

After the Bath (study)


The Jewel Casket

Il dolce far niente

In Expectation

An Auburn Beauty

Study of Miss Ethel Warwick

And last, but not least... a ginger cat!

The Tease