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Early morning with the Pre Raphaelites

mariana- millais

No, this isn’t me stretching first thing in the morning suurounded by gothic stained glass……

For all of you who have viewed my Pre Raphaelite page in July here are a few more pictures from the group. This first one above is by John Everett Millais and is called Mariana. It is based on a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson called Mariana. The poor girl seems to be locked up in a moated grange and is getting pretty depressed about the fact that some man or other isnt coming to rescue her:

With   blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted, one and all:
The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the pear to the gable-wall.
The broken sheds look’d sad and strange:
Unlifted was the clinking latch;
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.
She only said, ‘My life is dreary,
He cometh not,’ she said;
She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!’

( First verse of Tennyson’s poem)

Let’s hope someone comes to the rescue and lightens her mood a bit! But then that would spoil the  desolate ambience  of the poem and the painting….

coasts by holman hunt

This is Holman Hunt’s ” Our English Coasts”  ( staryed Sheep) painted in 1852 ( oil on canvas)  and is held now at the Tate Gallery.

One thing that doesnt come across in the ” Desperate Romantics ” series is that a lot of their inspiration came not only from their women but from their journeys  on English trains to various parts of the country to observe nature.

“The location shown in this painting is the Lovers’ Seat, an idyllic spot at Fairlight Glen near Hastings in Sussex. Hunt laboured here from mid-August to December 1852, enduring rain, wind and bitter cold to master his view.Despite the changes in weather, the painting seems a credible replication of particular illuminated moment. The colours used to convey light are daringly juxtaposed in order to intensify the clarity of every surface, a method that astounded audiences on both sides of the Channel”

The above is taken from the display caption with the picture at the Tate in 2007.

As with Hunt’s ” The Light of The World” the artist took great trouble and time to observe nature and the interplay of light on the landscape. Hunt went to the Holy Land ( as depicted in the Desperate Romantics) to better observe the effects of sunlight  for his ” Light of The World” .

How observant are we from day to day? All around us are so many people, objects, scenes and so much information – surely we hardly take any of it in! Thats where artists come  in – taking time to observe and help us to see better into the heart of things – and into the heart of God.

The gentle music of a bygone day - John Strudwick

And to finish with – an artist who also comes under the P-R genre – John Helhuish Strudwick and his painting : The Gentle Music of a Bygone Day

Three young ladies in the dress of the early middle ages.

Strudwick had been an unsuccessful student at the RA Schools but discovered his talent as an assistant to Burne-Jones. His paintings were painted to be beautiful and poetic. He was admired for his detail but criticised for his lack of authenticity. one critic describing this picture as ‘like a tableaux of well-bred girls from St John’s Wood’.

(From: http://preraphaelitepaintings.blogspot.com ( worth checking out if you like the P-Rs)

And I thought that was finally, but Ive just come across George Price Boyce : George Price Boyce (1826–1897) was a British watercolour painter of landscapes and vernacular architecture in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He was a patron and friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

He painted a picture of Binsey near Oxford, one of my most favourite teenage haunts so I have to include that here:

Binsey Boyce

Again, the light is amazing – it is  a magical place.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this early morning P-R romp ( of the artistic kind!)  – the more I find the more I want to look….

August 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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