Tuesday, December 27, 2011

William Morris, le Carnet Rouge

So here it is..this was the second Pre-Raphaelite surprise to come my way this Christmas day. Via Raine on Facebook, I found out about this phenomenal-looking new book about William Morris' life and daydreams as a young child. Illustrated by Agata Kawa, the book is entirely in French (and I don't read a single word of it) and the images are just phenomenally beautiful.

Morris' floral patterns are rendered in organic and dream-like soft colors on each page.

I love this emblem, inspired by Morris' Dragon and Peacock design.

Recognize the Millais that inspired this?

The book is available on Amazon.co.uk

Monday, December 26, 2011

Doctor Who Christmas Special

Christmas Day yielded not one but two delightful Pre-Raphaelite surprises for all of us. First, there was the Christmas special episode of Doctor Who..

Yes, Doctor Who. I assume you're a fan, if you're already discriminating enough of taste to love the Brotherhood.

Yes, that IS William Morris "Compton" pattern, in the gorgeous manor house from the Doctor Who special.

More than that, I shall not say for those of you who haven't seen the episode yet. But it was indeed a special treat.

The second special discovery of Christmas, brought to my attention by Raine, to come tomorrow....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pre-Raphaelite Artist Salon

As if I need another reason to make it to the Dickens Fair someday. Blog reader Sheila let me know about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Artists Salon held at the event every year. Could that be more fun??

The group "presents a whole Adventurer Club 'hour' (actually 45 minutes) of PRB delights. The audience will see members drawing and painting models, they will also be given paper and pencil to join in (especially children), instruction if requested, with soft music or inspiring poetry being performed."

From my perusal of their Facebook page, it appears every weekend they feature a new combination of models, poses, and continue the story line of the Brotherhood in a gossipy way. For instance, here's a sample "article" detailing the events of one of the Salons:
Those defiant Pre-Raphaelites

(By William Stillman, an American Journalist in London)

Effie defiantly says she will prove it. E. Ruskin’s petition to have her marriage to J. Ruskin annulled, has been challenged by Ruskin who now insists that Effie prove her contention that the marriage was never consummated.

William Morris is now planning to travel to Iceland. His daughter, May, was overheard requesting him to bring her an Icelandic pony on his return.

“Top”, the wombat owned by the D.G. Rossetti has discovered the delights of tobacco, and has eaten the Adventurers Club special reserve of South American cigars.

A growing circle of Pre-Raphaelites will meet again this weekend at the Adventurers Club at 3:30 PM to sketch and read poetry. Miss Lizzie Siddal will pose as Ophelia for a second time. Her bathing mishap, while posing for J. Millais will not be repeated."
Whoever created this salon is my new personal hero. Three cheers for their brilliance!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Raine's Latest...the Trio -- Ruskin, Effie, Millais

If This is What an Eccentric Spinster Looks Like...

...then sign me up!

A new article on the Daily Mail website features Victorian-era fan Julia Wood, who dresses and lives in a style to celebrate the era "from the 1890s to the first World War." She is also called an "eccentric spinster" in the article...outdated terminology, to be sure.

Clearly she has stunning taste in wallpaper, for one thing (Morris & Co of course)

And her furniture and aesthetic style are wonderful.

Love her little knick-knacks around:

And I wholeheartedly approve of her collection of blue and white china, and her tucked in photo of Oscar Wilde:

I am utterly inspired by Ms. Julia and her pursuit of beauty. She is truly a modern Aesthete!

Click the link to the article for more info, photos, and video. (Found from Mags Phelan, also shared by Art Magick on Facebook)

I Hate Everything

So far as I can tell, this blog, found by Edie, has nothing to directly do with the Brotherhood, but the title made me laugh out loud, and I had to share it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dakota as Effie

Many of you have probably already heard that Dakota Fanning is going to be starring as Effie Ruskin-Millais in a new biopic next year. I for one am quite excited to see how Ruskin, Effie and Millais are portrayed...the romance between the latter two is one of my favorite tales of the original core Brotherhood. And I hope, unlike Desperate Romantics, they don't shy away from a discussion of Ruskin's peculiarities toward young women and his reason for not consummating their relationship (as Kirsty Walker puts it... "just lie back and think of cathedrals")

And of course I hope there are cameos by other Brotherhood members.

Anyway, many thanks to Tess of Midnight Muse for the link to this preview from the production.

Effie. Although I can think of other actresses I would have chosen first, I think Dakota will do a grand job.

Ruskin in a down jacket.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oxford Union Christmas

My friend Verity posted another gorgeous Pre-Raphaelite Christmas image....a tree on display in the library at the Oxford Union, right under the famous Pre-Raphaelite murals. I love how wonderfully the Brotherhood and Christmas meld.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Hair Biting Euphoric Vision

This gorgeous image from Vlada Roslyakova by Pierluigi Maco for Vogue China, January 2007 reminds me a little of Beata Beatrix. Gorgeous. It also continues the longstanding Pre-Raphaelite tradition of hair-biting.

Edited to add...I KNEW this photo reminded me of a specific work, but I didn't come across it in Googling. Thank you, dear Stephanie, for identifying it!!! Rossetti's sketch of Lizzie as Delia:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Red House Christmas

Oh, those of you who aren't friends with Red House on Facebook, all the amazing pictures you're missing!!! They shared images of William Morris' beautiful home...pretty much the Camelot of the Pre-Raphaelites' golden years...decorated ever so festively for the holidays.

This tree could not be more amazing. Not only is it entirely period-appropriate with its natural garlands of popcorn, orange slices, and paper cutouts, but it's Pre-Raphaelite theme! How perfect is that??

A Christmas tree in front of the famous zig-zag patterned front door of Red House. It does my heart good.

The gingerbread Brotherhood (or in the case of this picture, Sisterhood) just tickles me to death. Each one has the initials of an obvious counterpart to all of us in the know.

And who better to make the angelic tree-topper than Edward Burne-Jones?

The breathtakingly gorgeous staircase at Red House all bedecked with natural gorgeousness, including a kissing ball.

A volunteer helps decorate the window sills. For some reason, every time I see these windows in pictures, it feels especially giddy to me. I can truly imagine Lizzie or Ned staring out of them at the surrounding nature.

Another shot of the gorgeous tree:

And the amazing staircase:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brooke Shaden's Pre-Raphaelite Fashion Shoot

The Brotherhood just keeps popping up in unexpected fashion-y places lately! I was exploring the Flickr account of a favorite photographer, Brooke Shaden, and found a link to this blog post of hers about a recent shoot she did for Bullett Magazine. She and the editors agreed that the shoot should be inspired by "the famous Pre-Raphaelite painters". Actually, only the first artwork was painted by a Brotherhood member (Millais' Somnambulist, thank you Robert Parry for the identification), but the second and third are by Victorian Romantics (Waterhouse and Bouguereau) inspired by the Brotherhood. The inspirational artworks are fun to see, and the resulting images are gorgeous.

Apparently the images she shared are not the ones appearing in the magazine, so I'm curious to see what does appear, especially since she mentions renting a boat and filling it with flowers. Sounds gorgeous!

Rossetti on a Jet Plane

My husband Tom actually found this link and shared it with me. Too awesome.

Classical art inspirations for airline safety manuals, including Rossetti.

The best airline-safety-card artists know how to amplify these details without creating too much noise. They are, after all, artists. They work within and bend the conventions of their form by playing with allusions to earlier work. Take, for example, a current US Airways safety card that portrays the conventional water flotation scene. We see a beautiful woman, with lush red hair, floating effortlessly, gazing ahead in an attitude of easeful melancholy. The airline artist has recruited Dante Rossetti’s 1877 Mary Magdalene, with perhaps an ironic nod to Botticelli’s Venus, as the heroine of our worst-case scenario. Thus the “fallen woman” motif is reimagined in the most urgent terms: this airline Magdalene is a woman who has quite literally fallen. And this is where we find her, floating in limbo, clutching a lily-white life preserver to her breast (instead of a vase, as in the 1877 portrait). Like Rossetti’s romantic Pre-Raphaelite Magdalene, this woman’s lowly state serves only to magnify her elemental beauty. Here she is, Our Lady of the Plane Crash. “I will make you fishers of men,” says the Christ. “We will rescue you in any corner of the globe,” says a Pan Am safety card. The fallen woman will not remain cast away forever—and, if we follow her lead, the artist assures us, neither will we. It is a pretty vision of earthly salvation.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vogue Cult of Beauty with Saoirse Ronan

The Cult of Beauty exhibit is coming to the United States...San Francisco to be specific...and in celebration, the December issue of Vogue on newsstands tomorrow did a photo spread of the even-more-stunning-every time I see her Saoirse Ronan, in Pre-Raphaelite style.

The caption on the above image reads "The actress, in the flame colored locks that recurred throughout Pre-Raphaelite paintings, makes a compelling case for reviving neoclassical style."

The above is my favorite image of the bunch, but supposedly it's a ten page spread, so I am eager to see if there is more we haven't seen yet.

The above image, clearly inspired by Isabella, or the Pot of Basil, has a caption that reads "In response to industrialization, mid-nineteenth century artists in Britain ushered in an era of handcrafts and bohemian beauty."

If you're reading this blog, I should hope you recognize the inspiration for the above image. Hint: It rhymes with Mophelia...

"Antithetical to the highly embellished and corseted mood of the period, many Pre-Raphaelites adopted gently flowing frocks evocative of the Middle Ages."

Stunning. Just stunning. Mark my words: Saorise Ronan is the younger generation's Cate Blanchett.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recent Facebook Images

Facebook has become a wonderful place to share and discuss the Pre-Raphaelites, as I've already mentioned. Here are a few recent images shared there, none of which I had previously seen:

Ohmygosh...Raine found this Ned Burne-Jones cartoon of himself and Topsy in a sauna! Pre-Raphaelite softcore!

The front display window of Morris & Co:

Morris kids:

William Morris, a deathbed portrait:

Jane Morris' Kelmscott stationary, designed by Rossetti:

Edward Burne-Jones, along with George Howard and his wife:

A great Neddy cartoon, found by Raine, which inspired her "Ned's Angels" cartoon:

A startling and amazing portrait of Janey facing the camera, and with a hint of a Mona Lisa smile!

William Morris' horse drawn cart for his casket at his funeral. I had heard this described, but had never seen it:

And finally, a new wonderful cartoon from Raine, featuring my favorite member of the Sisterhood, Jane Morris!