Pre-Raphaelites in The City: Pre-Raphaelite News Round-Up

Dinah Roe

Pre-Raphaelite News Round-Up

Recent articles and items on the Pre-Raphaelites range from the predictable (Florence Welch described as ‘Pre-Raphaelite’) to the wildly original (Dimbola Museum’s ‘Best Bohemian Beard’ awards).

What emerges from these disparate approaches is the sense that its kaleidoscopic nature has helped keep Pre-Raphaelitism vital. Its refusal to remain in one category (fine arts, literature, music, decorative arts) means Pre-Raphaelitism continues to appeal to film-makers and fashion designers as much as art gallery visitors and poetry lovers.

And beard-fanciers. 

In the News
11 Feb 2012
The Times chooses Christina Rossetti sonnet for ‘Love Poems Everyone Should Know.’

15 Feb 2012
Jan Marsh: ‘Did Rossetti Really Need to Exhume His Wife?’ In TLS

20 Feb 2012
Pre-Raphaelite Works from 7 Liverpool art museums newly available on the ‘Your Paintings’ website. Get tagging!

9 March 2012
Islington Tribune appeals for funds to preserve Ford Madox Brown’s grave


In Fashion
23 Feb 2012
The Evening Standard
Gucci eveningwear inspired by ‘Pre-Raphaelite Goddesses’

On Film
Christina Rossetti poems quoted in Scorcese’s Oscar-winning ‘Hugo’. Way to promote your Italian heritage Marty!

Stephanie Piña on Effie biopic
9 March 2012

In Music
14 Feb 2012
Into the Fashion
Lana Del Ray compared to Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s A Sea-Spell

7 March 2012
The Classical Review promotes ‘Debussy: Clare de Lune’. Album includes La damoiselle élue, which was inspired by Dante Gabriel’s ‘The Blessed Damozel.’ Article identifies the wrong Rossetti as Debussy’s inspiration. It’s Dante Gabriel, not Christina …

March 2012
Open Letters Monthly: An Arts and Literature Review
Natalie Dessay’s ‘Debussy: Clare de Lune’ is Norman Lebrecht’s ‘CD of the Week’

13 March 2012
Exhibition Review: ‘Debussy, Music and The Arts’

15 March 2012 ‘Florence + The Machine’ described as ‘Pre-Raphaelite’. Again.
The Week

17 March 2012
The Daily Telegraph
‘Florence + The Machine’ described as ‘Pre-Raphaelite’. Once more with feeling.

Exhibitions / Museums
Through 3 June 2012
‘G.F. Watts: The Hall of Fame - Portraits of his Famous Contemporaries’

24 Feb 2012
Financial Times review of Watts Gallery’s ‘The Hall of Fame: Portraits of His Famous Contemporaries’

4 March 2012:
The Sacramento Bee reviews: ‘Legion of Honor exhibit showcases the Aesthetic Movement’

17 March 2012:
Exhibition Review. Telegraph: Watts Gallery, ‘The Hall of Fame: Portraits of His Famous Contemporaries’

Museo de Arte de Ponce: Pre-Raphaelites in the permanent collection
If you are lucky enough to be in Puerto Rico, don’t forget to visit the Pre-Raphaelite collection at Museo de Arte de Ponce.

Browse ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Experiment’ at Manchester Art Gallery

3 March 2012
‘Dimbola Museum Seeks Nominees for Beard Portraits’ (after Julia Margaret Cameron)

March 2012
Dimbola Museum entry details for ‘Best Bohemian Beard’ contest. Deadline 31 March 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Prize. Deadline 10 Sep 2012

In the Blogosphere
4 March 2012
Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood
‘Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Siting: La Ghirlandata in a coloring book’

11 March 2012
‘The Kissed Mouth’ tours Pre-Raphelite works in St Michael and All Angels church

16 March 2012
‘So You Think You Know the Pre-Raphaelites’ at Left Coast Cowboys


  1. The first pre-raphaelite painting that sretckud me was Ophelia, by Millais when I was aroung 15.Our french teacher made us study that Rimbaud poem also called Ophelia, and some weird gloomy images of a woman floating came to my mind. I was not really aware of the pre-raphaelite movement, as my parents were more into modern painting and trying to lead me on that same path.One day, I don’t remember when exactly, I stumbbled across Ophelia and immediately started feeling weird. You know, like if images and scenes you thought out of mere words were here, represented exactly as you figured it! Than I started stumbbling on maany things ophelia-like   Some words in a Jewel song, a Rasputina song called Dig Ophelia and then, through a web of knowledge, finally came across and read Hamlet and even saw that Kate Winslet, the most pre-raphaelite actress of our time (and my favorite actress since 11 years now) had played her ! I was completly going crazy and started looking for books about this movement. There were not so many where I lived. But now I own a cool huge Phaidon book about Waterhouse, my favorite.Another day, in my second-hand bookstore, I fell upon Autumn written by a french author Philippe Delerm. It tells all the story around Elisabeth Siddal and how she had to pose in baths to be drawn as Ophelia, her beauty, Alice Liddel, Millais, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris. Don’t know if there’s any translation in english or esle of that cool book.I’ve seen the movie Possession and own it as a DVd. I’ll read the book !!All this to say it started as a simple obssession and then spread through references and different medias. Through Loreena McKennitt’s Lady of Shalott to the actual Waterhouse’s painting then to the poem. I love this whole web of pre-raphaelite interactions! And it won’t stop !:P

    Ekaterina responded at 03:18pm on 04/21/2012
  2. Hi Ekaterina. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for all things Pre-Raphaelite. Everyone seems to have an interesting story about first encountering their work, and yours is no exception! You are absolutely right to note the ‘web of Pre-Raphaelite interactions’ - I’m fascinated by the same thing. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Possession’. I’d be curious to know what you think of it. Come back and let us all know…

    Dinah responded at 02:39pm on 04/22/2012

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Pre-Raphaelites in the City

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This blog explores the thriving Victorian cities which inspired the Pre-Raphaelites, and were shaped by them in turn. While the Pre-Raphaelites produced poetry and art praising the natural world, most were born and raised in urban environments, and their work retained a cosmopolitan sensibility. Although this blog will sometimes take excursions into the countryside, its focus will remain on city life. If you want more information on images or sources, please get in touch.