Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dante Rossetti's Similar Faces of Different Models

One of my posts that's most often linked is this one dealing with Helen of Troy of the Homeric epic. Here is yet another version of Helen.

Helen of Troy - 1863

The model - Annie Miller, ca. 1860

It was by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), a founder of the famous Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of young, mid-19th century British artists. He mostly painted what amounted to portraits of women in literary settings. He used various women for this purpose, and in his paintings, they all looked fairly similar, as we shall see.

The Wikipedia entry for Rossetti is here.

Regardless of who the model was, Rossetti usually transformed her into a woman with a long nose, a short upper lip/muzzle zone, a strong chin and a long neck. Also, her hair tended to be parted at or near the the center of her head and was usually long and wavy. Below are more examples of Rossetti's women along with photographs of the models.


Beata Beatrix - 1864-72

The posthumous model - Elizabeth Siddal, ca. 1860
Siddal (1829-1862) was Rossetti's wife, who died young.

La Ghirlandata - 1871-74

The model - Alexa Wilding, ca. 1875

Bocca Baciata - 1859

The model - Fanny Cornforth, 1863
She was Rossetti's housekeeper and mistress for many years.

Astarte Syriaca - 1875-77

Beatrice - 1879

The model - Jane Morris (neƩ Burden), 1865
She was married to William Morris of the Arts & Crafts movement. It seems that Rossetti was infatuated with her, and her looks tended to merge into the paintings he made using other models, as can be seen above.

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