Dante Gabriel Rossetti
English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1828-1882
Rossetti's first major paintings display some of the realist qualities of the early Pre-Raphaelite movement. His Girlhood of Mary, Virgin and Ecce Ancilla Domini both portray Mary as an emaciated and repressed teenage girl. His incomplete picture Found was his only major modern-life subject. It depicted a prostitute, lifted up from the street by a country-drover who recognises his old sweetheart. However, Rossetti increasingly preferred symbolic and mythological images to realistic ones. This was also true of his later poetry. Many of the ladies he portrayed have the image of idealized Botticelli's Venus, who was supposed to portray Simonetta Vespucci.
Although he won support from the John Ruskin, criticism of his clubs caused him to withdraw from public exhibitions and turn to waterhum, which could be sold privately.
In 1861, Rossetti published The Early Italian Poets, a set of English translations of Italian poetry including Dante Alighieri's La Vita Nuova. These, and Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, inspired his art in the 1850s. His visions of Arthurian romance and medieval design also inspired his new friends of this time, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Rossetti also typically wrote sonnets for his pictures, such as "Astarte Syraica". As a designer, he worked with William Morris to produce images for stained glass and other decorative devices.
Both these developments were precipitated by events in his private life, in particular by the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal. She had taken an overdose of laudanum shortly after giving birth to a stillborn child. Rossetti became increasingly depressed, and buried the bulk of his unpublished poems in his wife's grave at Highgate Cemetery, though he would later have them exhumed. He idealised her image as Dante's Beatrice in a number of paintings, such as Beata Beatrix.
These paintings were to be a major influence on the development of the European Symbolist movement. In these works, Rossetti's depiction of women became almost obsessively stylised. He tended to portray his new lover Fanny Cornforth as the epitome of physical eroticism, whilst another of his mistresses Jane Burden, the wife of his business partner William Morris, was glamorised as an ethereal goddess. Related Paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti :. | Astarte Syriaca (mk19) | How They Met Themselves | Venus Verticordia | The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (mk28) | Saint Catherine |
Related Artists:Vincenzo Chialli
was born at Citte di Castello in 1787. After having learned the rudiments of art in that town, he visited Rome at the age of seventeen years, and became a disciple of Camuccini, whom he afterwards imitated. After leaving Rome he painted religious subjects at Borgo San Sepolcro, Urbino, Pesaro, and Venice, from whence he retraced his steps to Rome; but as the climate did not suit him, he left that city in 1822 and returned to Citta di Castello. He became Director of the School of Painting at Cortona in 1835, and died in 1840. Frank Russell Green
1859-1940GHERARDO DI GIOVANNI
Italian miniaturist, Florentine school (active 1460-1497)