Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Millais' Arch

Thanks to a will-be-unnamed-but-totally-rocks source of mine in England, I have been able to watch the absolutely riveting documentary that was just on ITV1 in England a week or so ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Passion for the Pre-Raphaelites. I haven't even finished the series yet, and I'm utterly engrossed.

But tonight as I was watching part of it, I was blown away. Just. Look.





This was Millais' design for a Gothic Arch, made of entwined angels in passionate embrace. I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw this piece. I had never seen it before, and in fact when I immediately paused the video and Googled it, the only images I could find were blurry black and whites. I am utterly smitten.

I've always been, I must confess, a little more in love with Millais' sketches than with his finished art. Don't get me wrong, his art is incredible. But there's something in the freedom of his sketches that just fixates me. This is especially true of his sketches with romantic themes. Something about this design for the gothic arch just feels like the same romantic passion as I've loved in his sketch work.

The story is...apparently this arch design was never actually realized in the 19th century. But a few years ago, according the the narrator Webber, he said that he "thought he'd have some fun" and commission the actual arch to be made. The results....





Gorgeous. Not quite the same as Millais' graceful figures, but still so beautiful. When will Design Toscano offer a reproduction of this piece in resin for my wall?

:)

10 comments:

Hermes said...

I thought he did it all very well and rarely for me jealously posessed me for his home - those pictures and the William de Morgan jugs on the staircase - sigh.

Sphinxvictorian said...

I hope it comes out on DVD in the States! Meanwhile, wow, that arch designed by Millais! What year did he do the design? And how wonderful of ALW to actually get it made! Thanks so much for this post.

The Painting Queen said...

I have tried unsuccessfully to try and watch this program when I heard about it airing. The English TV site just does not work for me. I hope you can share a working link!:-D

Anonymous said...

IS it just me, or does the angel in the sketch look like Effie? :)

Grace said...

Good point! I can definitely see it!

Painting Queen, I'm sorry but my anonymous source actually sent me a disc :(

Jim said...

Hi Grace, I know it's been a little while, but I saw this about Millais at my local art gallery and thought you may like it :)

Jim

Grace said...

Thanks Jim! Ah, how I'd love to have a Millais at my local art gallery! ;)

rachelturner424 said...

I saw this programme too and was really blown away by this particular work as well. It was great to see the Pre-Raphaelites getting the recognition they deserve. Their art is so overlooked in Britain, it's sad.
BTW, I love your blog. I've only just discovered it.

Grace said...

Rachel, fascinating to hear the PRB gets overlooked in England! I had never heard that. At least they seem to be having a bit of a resurgence with the Desperate Romantics series (no matter what I think about the storyline there) and this exhibit!

Glad you enjoy the blog :) :)

Pegasus said...

Absolutely beautiful!!!