The Day Dream Rossetti
Pre Raphaelite Art by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Day Dream or, as it was initially intended to be named, Monna Primavera. The sitter for this painting was Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris, who often posed for Rossetti. At the time this was painted Rossetti was involved in an illicit love affair with Jane. He shows her sitting in the branches of a sycamore tree and holding a sprig of honeysuckle. This sweet-smelling climbing plant symbolized the bonds of love for the Victorians, and Rossetti may have included it here as a subtle reference to the relationship between artist and model. Rossetti was also a poet, and the title relates to his poem of the same name which ends: She dreams; till now on her forgotten book Drops the forgotten blossom from her hand.
The Day Dream Painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Day Dream Analysis
Above her head and around her the tree branches are depicted almost embracing her, or as if she was emerging from the tree itself, almost as a dryad, or tree nymph. She is portrayed clad all in green, her dress is a romantic wide and loose silk robe, flowing in graceful folds down, blending in with the tree's leaves, that connects the subject and its surroundings visually. She is immersed in her daydreams, turning her gaze downwards, away, towards something unseen or perhaps only perceived by her. The depiction of the young, elegant woman in her shelter surrounded by the branches, is adding to the secretive feeling of the painting, maybe indicating the furtiveness of the affair or a clandestine meeting place. In the shelter it is dark, but around her shoulder there is light, light blue compartments against a dark green background, signaling that it is daytime.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti was born in May 1828 to Italian emigres living in London. The boy's father, Gabriel Pasquale Giuseppe Rossetti, was a scholar - he was Professor of Italian at Kings College from 1831 - and poet who had been exiled from Italy for his support for revolutionary nationalism. His English-Italian mother, Frances Mary Poldari, was the daughter of an exiled noble Italian scholar who, in addition to her maternal duties, enjoyed a career as a private teacher. The rich literary and cultural background of the couple saw that their passion for learning was passed down to all four of their children: Gabriel, Christina, William, and Maria. The children were practicing Anglicans but carried with them something of their father's Catholic worldview.
From an early age, Gabriel Charles Dante chose to be addressed by his middle name, Dante, so as to emphasize his affinity with the medieval Italian poet and writer (about whom his father had written extensively). Indeed, Dante had been surrounded by art and literature of medieval Italy, and even as a boy had composed plays and poetry and produced drawings in this vein. Dante was able to develop his precocious talents (for painting and writing) through a combination of home education and schooling at Kings College. He came to love bible passages, Shakespearean tragedies, Edgar Allan Poe and the poetry of Byron. As a teenager, he was torn between the ambition to become a poet or a painter and often claimed that his true passion lay with writing and poetry.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (later known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three founders were joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens, and Thomas Woolner to form the seven-member "brotherhood". Their principles were shared by other artists, including Ford Madox Brown, Arthur Hughes, and Marie Spartali Stillman. A later, medievalism strain inspired by Rossetti included Edward Burne-Jones and extended into the twentieth century with artists such as John William Waterhouse.
The group's intention was to reform art by rejecting what it considered the mechanistic approach first adopted by Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo. Its members believed the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael, in particular, had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art, hence the name "Pre-Raphaelite". In particular, the group objected to the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds, founder of the English Royal Academy of Arts, whom they called "Sir Sloshua". To the Pre-Raphaelites, according to William Michael Rossetti, "sloshy" meant "anything lax or scamped in the process of painting ... and hence ... anything or person of a commonplace or conventional kind". The brotherhood sought a return to the abundant detail, intense colors and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian art. The group associated their work with John Ruskin, an English critic whose influences were driven by his religious background.
The group continued to accept the concepts of history painting and mimesis, imitation of nature, as central to the purpose of art. The Pre-Raphaelites defined themselves as a reform movement, created a distinct name for their form of art, and published a periodical, The Germ, to promote their ideas. The group's debates were recorded in the Pre-Raphaelite Journal.
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The Day Dream Rossetti - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - The Day Dream Painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Monna Primavera - Pre Raphaelite Art -Rossetti and Morris.