Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Alicia Craig Faxon, Author, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Author Abbeville Press $105.5 (256p) ISBN 978-0-89659-928-4
By painting a procession of ``deviant'' feminine types--adulterous heroines, a pagan love goddess, a militant saint, defiantly sensuous beauties--Dante Gabriel Rossetti challenged conventional Victorian images of womanhood. His Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of artists and poets saw itself as an avant-garde rebelling against bourgeois values. In this gorgeously illustrated biographical-critical study, Faxon, art history professor at Simmons College, Boston, proves herself an astute guide to Rossetti's lush pictures with their often obscure symbolism or sources. Although she discusses his love affair with his best friend's wife, his addiction to sedatives, his nervous breakdown and attempted suicide, the exotic menagerie of animals he kept, his darker side is kept subordinate to an intelligent analysis of his art and its lasting influence. In a foreword, Helen Guglielmini, Rossetti's great-grandniece, examines the dual cultural heritage of his Italian-English ancestry. This volume is indispensable to admirers of Rossetti's paintings or poetry. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7148-3294-4
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-7148-2620-2
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