Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Edward Burne-Jones ~ Earth Mother, 1882

"Burne-Jones was a second-generation member of the pre-Raphaelite artists, who rejected the growing materialization of industrialized England. Instead they focused on the comparative simplicity of the medieval world and the art of Italian painters prior to Raphael. 'Earth Mother', which shows the influence of Renaissance artists like Botticelli, was painted by Burne-Jones in connection with his series of stained-glass windows representing the planets. Here is an allusion to Earth Mother's role of nurturing all life: human, represented by the child; animal, by the wolf; and horticultural, by the trees and vegetation. The snake next to the feet of Earth Mother symbolizes fertility and relates to Ceres, goddess of earth. To show earth's role in the transitional nature of water, the allegorical figure is represented holding up a blue jar that produces clouds, rain, and eventually a stream below. To create the ivorylike skin of the figures and the rich textures throughout, Burne-Jones employed the ancient technique of encaustic. The pigments are bound in a wax medium, over which the artist applied oil glazes and, in certain areas, minute touches of gold for an even more decorative effect." - JAW, Worchester Art Museum
Worcester, Massachusetts

Such a beautiful work.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Emma Sandys (1843-1877)

A video from Marisa - 'marisayutub'

"Emma Sandys was the sister of Frederick Sandys, and like him produced bust length portraits of women in an intense and detailed Pre-Raphaelite style. Little is known of her life, despite extensive recent research. Like her brother she was born in Norwich and lived there until 1874 when she moved to London. She exhibited in Norwich and at the Royal Academy, where she showed three female portraits, an 'Enid' and an 'Undine' between 1868 and 1874. It is difficult to reconstruct her oeuvre as her paintings are technically very similar to those of her brother and until recently have been confused with his." - Hilary Morgan

The Garland, 1870

Viola, 1870

Anthony Frederick Sandys @ ArtMagick

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BBC Radio 3 to broadcast the choral symphony, Earthly Paradise - Sayings, Songs and Poems of William Morris, Tue 13 Apr 2010

George Frederic Watts
Portrait of William Morris, 1870

"The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis head into visionary territory, with a new piece by Ian McQueen. The search for the land where 'none grow old' guides the twists and turns of William Morris's 'The Earthly Paradise'. Ian McQueen's work for chorus and large orchestra evokes the poem's extraordinary world, surges with erotic charge, and conjures up Morris's magical vision of Iceland's landscape and sagas."

Tue 13 Apr 2010
BBC Radio 3
(A broadcast of the concert presented 10 April 2010.)


"Scored for a large orchestra and choir, this has been commissioned by BBC Radio Three. It is dedicated to Stephen Jackson and the BBC Symphony Chorus, to celebrate the chorus's 80th birthday. There are four movements, which refer to the life of the great Victorian poet, designer and political activist, lasting about 30 minutes.

'Earthly Paradise' will be broadcast on April 13th at around 7.45 pm [UK time] on BBC Radio Three.

Ian Mcqueen will introduce the piece live in the studio."

** Update April 13th: The broadcast will be available for seven days at the link below. The Earthly Paradise segment begins at about the 54 minute mark with interesting commentary from Fiona MacCarthy and Ian McQueen.


William Morris in Iceland
an article by Fiona MacCarthy

The Literary Pilgrimage
an article in Iceland Review

John William Waterhouse - The Lady Clare, 1900

She clad herself in a russet gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale, and she went by down,
With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
And follow'd her all the way.
- Tennyson

Two studies for The Lady Clare by Waterhouse


The Lady Clare @ ArtMagick

Elizabeth Siddal's Lady Clare -

Some poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson -
Lady Clare is at the bottom of the page.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Pre-Raphaelites and the Italian dream ..., Museo d'Arte della Città di Ravenna, Ravenna, Italy

Edward Burne-Jones
Musica, 1877


A collaboration between the Museo d’Arte della Citta di Ravenna
and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK.

The Pre-Raphaelites and the Italian dream:
From Beato Angelico to Perugino,
from Rossetti to Burne-Jones

Museo d'Arte della Città di Ravenna, Ravenna, Italy
through June 6th 2010

LINK to a PDF file with a listing of works in the exhibition.


The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK
15th September 2010 to 5th December 2010

The exhibition curators are
Claudio Spadoni, Colin Harrison and Christopher Newall.


A wonderful glimpse of some of the works
that are being shown in Ravenna.
(The Telesanterno commentary is in Italian.)


Danielle Mitzman, a British freelance journalist based in the north Italian town of Bologna, recently spoke with two of the exhibition curators. She writes, "... a major exhibition, 'The Pre-Raphaelites and the Italian Dream', has opened at MAR, the Museum of Art in the north Italian city of Ravenna. It will run until June before moving to Oxford’s Ashmolean museum in September. Appropriately a joint Anglo-Italian venture, it looks at the connection between the British Pre-Raphaelite movement and the Italian artists – as their name suggests, before Raphael - who inspired them."

** Listen to the interview at this LINK. **
(It is in English.)

William Holman Hunt
Tuscan Girl, ca. 1869

"Much more than a dream, Italy was a veritable obsession for the young British artists who went on to found the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. With its "The Pre-Raphaelites and the Italian dream. From Beato Angelico to Perugino, from Rossetti to Burne-Jones", the Ravenna Art Museum (MAR), stages the first ever Italian exhibition devoted to this artistic movement.

It was in the mid 19th century that a group of British artists, guided by William Holman Hunt, rebelled against what they considered formulaic academic mannerism, choosing to take Italian painters from the medieval and pre-renaissance period (before Raphael), as reference. Of the works from this period the Pre-Raphaelites admired the brilliance of the colors used, the intensity of expression, the references to the natural world, and the spontaneous approach to art which they deemed to have been abandoned by the artists who succeeded Raphael.

The exhibition route commences with two rooms containing works by Beato Angelico, Taddeo di Bartolo and Perugino. The exhibition is divided in two sections: one exploring the Pre-Raphaelites interest in Italian painting and art; the other dedicated to the British artists' representations of the country's landscapes and historic buildings. Fascinated by Italy and its history, members of the Pre-Raphaelite Confraternity attempted to direct British painting towards more authentic and less conventional subject matter, far removed from the cliché imposed by the academies. Although, today, the works of the Pre-Raphaelites appear anything but revolutionary or ground-breaking, at the time of their creation, they provoked scandal in Victorian society, to such an extent that they are thought by many to represent the first avant-garde movement in art.

One of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, son of an Italian immigrant, who chose the works of Dante Alighieri as one of the principal themes of his artistic discourse. The exhibition includes a series of splendid paintings by Rossetti and other, lesser known artists, inspired by the Divine Comedy and the life of Dante. Ample space is dedicated to other themes dear to the Pre-Raphaelites, such as that of the woman destroyed by unrequited, tragic or adulterous love."

John Ruskin
Italian Village, 1845
(not included in the exhibit)

"The passion for Italy and its artistic heritage, which animated these artists, emerges in the works of John Ruskin who, during his many journeys through Italy studied with attention the artistic treasures of the Italian peninsula, recording them in the form of meticulously accurate drawings in the conviction that, in this way, he would somehow be able to save them from degradation and preserve their beauty. Ruskin even financed the journeys to Italy of a series of artists and students from Oxford University, so that they could follow his example and realize drawings and paintings of all the most beautiful Italian monuments. The resulting collection of works is one of the most interesting aspects of the Ravenna exhibition. The exhibition concludes with Edward Burne-Jones' sketches of the mosaics realized for Rome's Church of San Paolo dentro le Mura, mosaics inspired by the Byzantine masterpieces still visible in the basilicas of Ravenna." (Courtesy: ItalyTraveller)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Designs an Angel on the First Anniversary
of the Death of Beatrice
, 1853

From an article by Rachel Spence about the exhibit: "Intensely romantic and spiritual, yet rooted in the language of the common man, Dante’s verses furnished the ideal subject matter. Rossetti, who was also a poet himself, both translated and illustrated many of the Tuscan’s verses. Of several watercolours on show here, the most historically significant is the earliest – “Dante Designs an Angel on the First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice” (1853) – which brought the young painter to the attention of Ruskin for the first time. The critic hailed it as “the most perfect piece of Italy I have ever seen in my life”." LINK

(*Update April 13th ... another article about the exhibit. LINK)

Some works by Beato Angelico and Perugino.

Beato Angelico
A Rome Reports TV News Agency video from April 2009

Pietro Vannucci (Perugino)
A video by Ricardo G. Silveira

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kate Elizabeth Bunce

Melody (Musica)

A video from Marisa - 'marisayutub'

Works and biography at ArtMagick

The Keepsake

'The Keepsake' "is based on a poem by Rossetti
and was first shown with this quotation:

'Then stepped a damsel to her side,
And spoke and needs must weep:
'For his sake, lady, if he died,
He prayed of thee to keep
This staff and scrip'."

Melody (Musica) and The Keepsake are both part of the
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery collection:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A film by Dekklun Cuinn

Friday, April 2, 2010

John William Waterhouse - Windflowers ... and links to the 2009 Waterhouse documentary and another video

The photographs shown above were taken at the Groninger Museum
in Groningen, The Netherlands during the Waterhouse exhibition.

Copyright for the photographs belongs to:
1. 'AbAberson'
2. & 3. 'Sandori'

Windflowers, 1903 - at ArtMagick


If you haven't seen them before,
or would like to enjoy them again ...

RTV Noord shares works by Waterhouse in London
before the opening of the Waterhouse exhibition
at the Groninger Museum (December 2008).
Na 'Fatale Vrouwen' hele tentoonstelling Waterhouse
(English & Dutch - about 3 minutes long)
- LINK -

Documentary about John William Waterhouse
from AVRO Close Up
in association with the Groninger Museum (1 April 2009).
De betoverende vrouwen van John William Waterhouse
The enchanting women of John William Waterhouse
(English with Dutch subtitles - 52 min.)