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Exhibition traces Dante Gabriel Rossetti's obsession with his chief muse Jane Morris
Jane Morris c.1879.


BRADFORD.- There are just a few weeks left to see rare works that trace Dante Gabriel Rossetti's obsession with his chief muse Jane Morris at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery .

‘Rossetti's Obsession: Images of Jane Morris' gathers together rarely displayed works by the leading Pre-Raphaelite painter who fell in love with the wife of Arts and Crafts Movement pioneer, William Morris. It will also show photographs of Jane, including a number in which she poses for possible paintings for Rossetti.

The exhibition - being staged on the centenary of Jane's death - will be shown at the Bradford Council-run gallery until Sunday, 1 June 2014.

Central to the exhibition are a number of studies of works that form a major strand in Rossetti's mid-to-late painting, regarded by many as being the height of his oeuvre. These include ‘Proserpine' (1882); ‘La Donna della Finestra' (1870); and ‘La Donna della Fiamma' (1870).

‘Proserpine' which is widely regarded as one of the defining images of the Pre-Raphaelite era, is based on the myth of the goddess, who was abducted by Pluto and trapped in the underworld after eating pomegranate seeds.

‘La Donna della Finestra' and ‘La Donna della Fiamma' are both from a series based on scenes from Dante Alighieri's 'Vita Nuova' (‘The New Life', 1295). The collection, a combination of both prose and verse, is an expression of the medieval genre of courtly love.

‘La Donna della Finestra‘, which was the starting point for the Bradford Museums and Galleries-curated exhibition, is taken from Bradford Council's art collection. ‘La Donna della Fiamma' is on loan from Manchester City Galleries and ‘Proserpine' from Birmingham Museums Trust.

The exhibition will tour to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight and the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow later this year.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was the leading member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His depictions of Jane came to embody the movement's ideal of beauty and he obsessively drew and painted her in many mythological roles including Beatrice and Astarte.

The English poet, illustrator, painter and translator founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. He was the main inspiration for a second generation of artists influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

His art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His personal life was also closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Jane Morris, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, and Fanny Cornforth.





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