Friday, September 29, 2006


Beata Beatrix, 1872 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Art Institute of Chicago.

This is a portrait of Rossetti's wife Elizabeth Siddal that was painted after her death. In it he casts her as Dante's Beatrice, thereby casting himself as his namesake. When Siddal died he was so overcome with grief he buried his manuscript book of poetry along with her (five years later he retrieved it).


Harmony Steel said...

(five years later he retrieved it).

Eep, that's kindof disturbing isn't it :) Very interesting. I love Your Daily Art, thanks for writing it!

Nell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nell said...

The Preraphaelites are among my favorites.
I didn't know he retrieved the book. Guess he wasn't that sad after 5 years.

I love your blog and I read it every day. Thank you :)

Mary Beth said...

I've always wondered this: what's up with Rossetti's women's necks? They always look strange to me: too long, strangely muscled, strangely positioned. I have a hard time staying focused on the other aspects of the paintings (which I otherwise admire for many reasons) because of this oddly portrayed anatomy.

Is this a pre-Raphaelite thing? An exteme idealization of the female body of the day?

David said...

I agree--Rossetti's women's necks are too large for me. He only had a handful of models and so it could be that he chose them by this feature.

However, although not all pre-Raphaelite women share this trait, it certainly isn't uncommon. Check out this page for some examples.

Bill Hooker said...

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Buried all of his libretti,
Thought the matter over -- then
Went and dug them up again.

--Dorothy Parker.

Martha said...


Boggart said...

I remember reading, somewhere, that the Chinese, historically, thought women's neck alluring and sexy.

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