Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Lilies - reblogged from Feral Strumpet

Feral Strumpet has kindly given me permission to reblog an article of hers on Pre Raphaelite Lilies.
Most notedly she has based her article around the painting by Dante-Gabriel-Rossetti 'Ecce-Ancilla-Domini' or The Annunciation painted between 1849 and 1850 and currently residing in the Tate collection

"The lily is a paradox– death and life. It was the harbinger in paintings of the Annunciation. The Pre-raphaelites loved this subject matter, but my favourite is Rossetti’s take on this news-flash moment. There is a reference to Fra Angelico’s beautiful treatment of the subject matter and Rossetti even seems to be riffing off the stark white cells of the Monastery of San Marco in Florence where much of Fra Angelico’s frescos can be seen.

Rosetti’s Mary is very much human, full of wonder and terror. The angel’s face is merely suggested in a haze of fleshy shadow as if to save those looking from the divine information that might just do us in.
But Mary survives this message– backed into a corner of her tiny cell, the traditional blue of her dress is only represented by a makeshift screen– something you’d see in a hospital. And the lily takes center stage with its innocence and knowing, its face of life and death."

Shown below is another Rassetti painting, this time 'The Girlhood of the St Mary Virgin' Painted around a year earlier Rosssetti has abandoned work with Madox Brown and has set up studio with Holman Hunt with with the proceeds of Holman's sale of  'St Agnes'

Medieval Lilly earrings by Feral Strumpet on Etsy

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