Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Red House Christmas

Gorgeous images of Red House's celebrations of Christmas again this year.  They really know how to do it up in the spirit of William Morris!

Images from last year

A volunteer prepares to green the house.

Gingerbread Brother/Sisterhood...who could this be?

Father Christmas carries old-fashioned wooden toys in  his sack.

The tree is bedecked with paper birds, their designs taken directly from the painted glass windows of the house.

 This year, yesterday, there was a power outage at Red House, so they lit candles during the celebration instead.

Red House's incredible Father Christmas.

If you live in the area, please go visit Red House for Christmas for me!

And if, like me, you live nowhere near, follow the Red House page on Facebook for many more goodies like this!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Trellis in Hysteria

While watching a period film tonight, Hysteria, a movie about...well...the amusing Victorian origin of the vibrator....I noticed a William Morris wallpaper being used in the dining room.

And it's not a commonly seen paper.

William Morris' "Trellis" design has always struck me as almost modern in its geometric background and bold colors.  It's fascinating to see it used in such a vivid colorway in a full room.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Tangle of Pre-Raphaelite Rapunzels

Stumbling through Tumblr, I came across a post sharing early concept art from Disney's Tangled.  The following images fascinated me, as the faces are a little cartoony, but the color-scheme and overall "feel" are so very Pre-Raphaelite.  The second image especially took my breath away.

Monday, November 26, 2012

James Christensen "Once Upon a Time"

Today at the library I stumbled onto a Pre-Raphaelite in an unexpected place.  A book came across my desk to fill a hold that intrigued me.  It was about the artist James Christensen, someone whose work I had seen in passing but knew little about.  And as I flipped through the book, I was started to see a familiar face in one of the first images.

There she is, unmistakably, the Lady of Shalott as rendered by Waterhouse, complete with her gold and white checkered arm band and simple silver circlet in her hair.  The idea of her keeping company with this motley group of whimsical characters brought a delighted tickle to my imagination..  The artwork is entitled "Once Upon a Time."

Edited to add:  I was so engrossed in discovering the Lady in this artwork, I totally missed another homage.  Guarding the fair maiden of Shalott is a knight whose visage appears repeatedly in my dear Neddy's art.  Edward Burne-Jones loved to paint this deliciously dark blue-black gothic armor with red sashes.

I just love the idea of a Burne-Jones knight standing guard behind a Waterhouse Lady of Shalott. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Artist Salon 2012

The Pre-Raphaelite Artist Salon at the Great Dickens Faire has announced their tableaux this year for the next five weekends.  
Date Tableau Artist
Friday, Nov. 23 Circe Waterhouse
Saturday, Nov. 24 The Annunciation Rossetti
Sunday, Nov. 25 Midsummer Moore
Saturday, Dec. 1 Ophelia Waterhouse
Sunday, Dec. 2 Beguiling of Merlin Burne-Jones
Saturday, Dec. 8 St. George Burne-Jones
Sunday, Dec. 9 St. George Burne-Jones
Saturday, Dec. 15 Midsummer Moore
Sunday, Dec. 16 Monna Vanna Rossetti
Saturday, Dec. 22 Circe Waterhouse
Sunday, Dec. 23 Ophelia Waterhouse


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Les Misérables of Shalott

This new image Vogue ran of the cast from the movie Les Misérables is so very Pre-Raphaelite.

Also, WAG Screen received their 1500 page likes on Facebook, and so have posted the entire film of the Lady of Shalott online to enjoy.


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Bed at Kelmscott - Video

The Tate has a new video for the Victorian Avante-Garde exhibition.  This one is perhaps my favorite, featuring an in-depth look at William Morris' bed from Kelmscott. 

I recommend you watch!

I never knew Jane Morris signed the quilt!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bagshaw Pandora

Thanks to Bryony Whistlecraft and her incredible Tumblr, I found the art of Tom Bagshaw.  His work is a fascinating amalgamation of classical, quirky, and cartoony.  I love this image below:

The pose should look familiar.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fanny Photography and Art

Fanny Photography and Art took these beautiful pictures of Alessandra Casiraghi that simultaneously remind me of Ophelia, the Pre-Raphaelites, and John Bauer.

The Lady of Shalott: 1500?

The Facebook page for the WAG Screen film of The Lady of Shalott has an irresistible proposal...if they can get their fan list of "likes" up above 1500, they will release the film for free internet viewing.

I keep meaning to order the DVD and other things get in the way, so I'll admit this is a selfish request, but please....

Go "Like" the page for the Lady of Shalott film on Facebook!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fanny the Stunning Stunner

First a caveat on this entry: Kirsty Walker is an amazing lady.  And she's also a dear friend.  So know that this book review is, by its nature, biased by these facts.  However, the reason why Kirsty and I met in the first place was because of her passionate enthusiasm for the Pre-Raphaelites, and her dynamite wit and writing ability.


Author and Pre-Raphaelite scholar Kirsty Walker recently released a second edition to her book, Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth.  Fanny, one of the great female influences and inspriations in artist Rossetti's life, has often been marginalized in biographies and studies of him.  Dismissed as a sassy harlot or a greedy groper, poor Fanny's story was never really properly researched until Kirsty came along and wondered what the truth was behind all the legends and stories. 

I've read both the first and second editions of this book, and while I greatly enjoyed the first edition, it's truly fascinating to see the new research and information presented in the second edition.  Also Kirsty includes a few extra visuals that add punch to the text, including the beautiful new cover.

But the real gem of this biography is Kirsty's unique authorial voice.  She has a wonderful blog in which she explores art analysis in general and the Pre-Raphaelites in particular, and she often adds her delightfully mischievous wit to her posts.  The charm behind that wit is evident in Stunner, as she takes the reader along on a journey to discover Fanny's background, her motivations, her ultimate fate.  Kirsty never sacrifices research integrity for her own personal bias toward her subject.  Even when she has to write about behavior in Fanny Cornforth that may be admittedly a poor reflection on her, she does so with honesty.  She explains possible reasons in Fanny's character and/or upbringing that might have led her to what she has done.  In the end, we see Fanny as a Stunner whose largest "fault" in the eyes of Rossetti's contemporaries, and by extension his later biographers, was that she was more real and down-to-earth than Rossetti's other enigmatic ivory tower muses. 

My favorite part of the book, and also the most heartwrenching, was Kirsty's description of Rossetti's passing.  No matter what you may think of Fanny...whether you side with the early biographers who portray her as a greedy gus, or with Kirsty who sees her as ultimately well-intentioned and a survivor, you have to admit that she was a huge part of Rossetti's life.  The way she was treated upon his passing is truly a tragedy.

I highly recommend this book, in case you can't tell, and thought it was the best thing a biographer's work can ever be: a fascinating and emotional journey through the exploration of a remarkable woman's life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Herbert Gustave Schmalz - Galilee

Today at my favorite antique store I found something quite interesting.  I was immediately captivated by this large artwork in a lovely old frame.

At the bottom of the image, it appeared this was handwritten in pencil: Royal Academy 1910, "Galilee"

And the artist's signature, Herbert Schmalz. 

I searched the artist Herbert Gustave Schmalz online, and found out that he is considered a Pre-Raphaelite, and was friends with William Holman Hunt and studied under Frank Dicksee.  But I can't find anything about this artwork.  Is it an original?  Some sort of limited edition print with the signed bottom?

I compared his signature on the antique artwork to one I found online, and it's convincingly similar.

If anyone has any leads on how to find out more about this lovely artwork and what this print or piece is, I would welcome it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pre-Raphaelites are In-Fashion

 Thanks to Ni Milo on Facebook for alerting me to this fashion shoot appearing in The Telegraph.  Of course, as was the case with the Cult of Beauty exhibition, popular culture is starting to push the huge Pre-Raphaelite exhibition coming to the Tate this fall.  (AND to Washington D.C. in the spring...I WILL be visiting)

What I love about these images is that the hairstylist really got it right with the Pre-Raphaelite hair.  The kinky wavy curls are so very reminiscent of Jane Morris' own head of hair.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Neddy's Big Day

Well I've been rather quiet lately, but you didn't think I would let today pass by unremarked do you?

Happy Birthday, Neddy, aka Edward Burne-Jones, my favorite of the Pre-Raphaelites.  Born August 28th, 1833 in Birmingham.

How should we celebrate his Birthday today?  Well, there are a few possibilities...

-Write a chivalrously romantic love note to a woman you deem to be a Stunner....

Wear RED today, as it is a Tuesday and that's the Synesthetic color of the day according to Ned.

Read a good book.

Buy a shirt.

But above all, don't eat carrots.

Seriously...Happy Birthday to my favorite Pre-Raphaelite.