Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rossetti's St George

I was looking at Stephanie's post on Rossetti's St George

To me the interest is that in the first picture the model is Lizzie, in the second Jane. She was still Miss Burden here and is it it me or does the second St George more Rossetti like. The symbolism of the hair is surely significant. 

Tate caption
"This work was executed while Rossetti and other artists were decorating the Oxford Union with medievalist murals. In Oxford, Rossetti saw Jane Burden, later Mrs William Morris, and immediately asked her to pose for him. She is the model for Princess Sabra, threading a lock of her hair through St George's helmet.
The claustrophobic composition is characteristic of much of Rossetti's work at this time. Sabra's embrace of an armoured figure, enmeshing him with her hair, and St George's distracted gaze hint at Rossetti's dilemma of being involved with Elizabeth Siddall but feeling a strong attraction for Jane."

Christopher Wood hints that the hair and their complete indifference to the bystanders (Angels?) and Dragon signified consummated passion.

There is also a hint in a pencil study in contemporary dress

I may be making 2 + 2 = 5 but I think no!!

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