18.11.10

BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY TO DISPLAY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN WORK BY DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI


A PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN WORK BY DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI IS TO GO ON DISPLAY FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY, THE POETRY OF DRAWING, OPENING 29.JANUARY.2011. ROSETTI'S BROODING 'MNEMOSYN' IS A STRIKING LARGE-SCALE PASTEL DRAWING DEPICTING JANE MORRIS, WIFE OF THE DESIGNER WILLIAM MORRIS AND ROSSETTI'S MOST IMPORTANT MUSE IN THE LAST DECADE OF HIS LIFE. THE DRAWING REMAINED IN ROSSETTI'S STUDIO UNTIL HIS DEATH AND HAS BEEN IN A PRIVATE COLLECTION EVER SINCE. ROSSETTI FELL IN LOVE WITH JANE AND DREW AND PAINTED HER REPEATEDLY, SOMETIMES AS HERSELF BUT MORE OFTEN AS CHARACTERS FROM MYTHOLOGY AND LITERATURE. HER DISTINCTIVE APPEARANCE, WITH HER HEAVY DARK HAIR AND STRONG, IMPASSIVE FEATURES, HAS COME TO TYPIFY THE LATER PRE-RAPHAELITE IDEAL OF FEMALE BEAUTY. WHEN THE NOVELIST HENRY JAMES, HAVING SEEN ROSSETTI'S PAINTINGS OF HER, MET JANE IN PERSON IN 1869, HE WROTE: 'IT'S HARD TO SAY (WHETHER) SHE'S A GRAND SYNTHESIS OF ALL THE PRE-RAPHAELITE PICTURES EVER MADE, OR THEY A 'KEEN ANALYSIS OF HER - WHETHER SHE'S AND ORIGINAL OR A COPY. IN EITHER CASE SHE IS A WONDER.' THE POETRY OF DRAWING WILL DEBUT AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY BEFORE TOURING TO SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, NEXT SUMMER.

1 comment:

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