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 Rossetti became increasingly depressed, and buried the bulk of his unpublished poems in his wife's grave at Highgate Cemetery, though he would later have them exhumed.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 :. | The Boat of Love (mk28) | Regina Cordium | La Ghirlandate (mk28) | A Christmas Carol (mk28) | Sir Galahad at the Ruined Chapel (mk28) |
Related Artists:Beardsley Limner
American Colonial Era Painter, active 1785-1805John MacWhirter
(27 March 1839 Slateford, Water of Leith - 28 January 1911 London) was a Scottish landscape painter.
John was the third of four children. He attended a school in Colinton, and after his father's death was apprenticed to Oliver & Boyd, booksellers in Edinburgh. He stayed there for only a few months and then in 1851 enrolled at the Trustees Academy under Robert Scott Lauder and John Ballantyne (1815-97). He spent long periods sketching and studying nature outdoors. His first painting to be exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy at age 14, was 'Old Cottage at Braid'. In 1880, he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Scottish Academy. Exploring and painting abroad he visited Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey, Norway and the U.S.A. - the Alps being a great inspiration. He moved to London in 1867 and on 4 May 1893 was elected a Royal Academician.
MacWhirter specialised in romantic landscapes with a great fondness for trees, spending much time in the hilly countryside of Perthshire. Initially, under the influence of John Everett Millais, he experimented with the detailed images of the Pre-Raphaelites, but later adopted a more sweeping style. With John Pettie he illustrated The Postman's Bag (Strahan, 1862), and Wordsworth's Poetry for the Young (Strahan, 1863).LEDESMA, Blas de
Spanish painter documented 1602-1614 in Granada,Spanish painter. He is known to have worked in Granada from 1602, and in 1614 he designed a stucco vault decoration for the Alhambra. Archival sources testify to his renown as a painter of decorative fresco grotesques (untraced) and still-lifes. His activity as a still-life painter remains debatable, partly because he has been confused with Blas de Prado and also because of Torres Marten's controversial attributions. Ledesma's only unanimously accepted autograph painting is Still-life with Cherries and Flowers (Atlanta, GA, High Mus. A.), signed in Granada. A highly decorative painting, it shows none of the sophistication of still-lifes by Juan Senchez Cot?n, in Granada from 1603. It is painted meticulously and drily. Depicting a severely drawn, rather flat basket on a narrow ledge flanked by flowers behind it, the rigorously symmetrical composition is relieved only by soft lighting and the studied disarray of some fallen cherries. Two other unsigned and poorly preserved still-lifes of analogous subject-matter have been attributed to Ledesma