Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix, 1871-72, oil on canvas, 34 7/16 x 27 ¼ in. (predella 10 ⅖ x 27 ⅕ in.)
The Art Institute of Chicago
An admirer of the work of Dante Alighieri, Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti not only translated some of the Florentine poet’s works, but also used them as subject matter for a number of his paintings. Perhaps one of the most famous of these is Beata Beatrix, which, while portraying Dante’s great love Beatrice written about in Vita Nuova, also pays tribute to Rossetti’s beloved late wife Lizzie Siddal, who had committed suicide following the stillborn death of their first child. Just as Beatrice represented Dante’s idealized love separated from him by death, so also was Siddal portrayed as Rossetti’s perfect love, tragically separated from him, hovering at the void between life and death.
Here, while Beatrice sits with hands folded and head uplifted awaiting death, her face betrays not fear but tranquility as she graciously accepts poppies from a red dove. Behind her, Dante gazes at a personified version of Love - within whose hand Beatrice’s fading life flickers as flame - the figures placed in a setting of green trees. While a sundial is placed prominently in the middle ground, the Ponte Vecchio is seen far off in the background, exuding a bright, golden glow. Concentrating the color palette in complementary reds and greens, Rossetti further envelopes the figures in a dream-like haze with blurred, fuzzy brush strokes. This replica owned by the Art Institute of Chicago is the only version that includes the small predella underneath, in which Rossetti has portrayed Dante and Beatrice’s joyful reunion in a blooming, lush vision of the Garden of Eden.
As were many of his paintings, Beata Beatrix is awash with symbolism, the explanations for which I have relied upon information provided by the Tate Modern, owner of the original painting upon which the Art Institute’s replica was based. The dove - an omen of death, but also Rossetti’s pet name for Siddal - holds opium poppies symbolizing not only sleep, dreaming and death but also the laudanum Siddal used to take her own life. The dove and garments of Beatrice and the Angel have been painted red to signify love, while the green hues are representative of hope and sorrow. The sundial is set to nine, which, as written by Rossetti, was a number Dante connected mystically with Beatrice and her death. Rossetti has commingled references to Dante’s text as well as allusions to his own beloved wife, creating a mystical tribute that, rather than mourning Siddal, glorifies her as a vision of perfect love.
La Belle et la Bete + gowns
I will weep forever if I can’t see this subtitled.
Photos from Det Ny Teater’s original “Beauty and the Beast” production (2005). It was the first non-replica production of the musical. The design was by Terry Parsons.
BEAST: Kristian Boland
BELLE: Mia Karlsson (I mourn I didn’t get to see her play Belle)
LUMIERE: Preben Kristensen
COGSWORTH: Jesper Asholt
MRS. POTTS: Kirsten Siggard
GASTON: Daniel Hällström
BABETTE: Malin Landing
LEFOU: Peter Pilegaard
MONSIEUR D’ARQUE: Tomas Ambt Kofod
MRS. WARDROBE: Ulla Sell
Summer Place rented a gorgeous production from a company in Minneapolis, I think, and I loved how we looked. But this is AMAZING.
The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only — a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
Evelyn: Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
Evelyn: I… am a librarian.
A dying language has been uncovered here in Hawai’i. Researchers are calling its existence ground breaking especially since it became so close to being lost forever.
Hawai’i Sign Language is one of only two known surviving sign languages in the United States—the other is American Sign Language. HSL is believed to have originated among the Deaf population here in the 1800’s – long before ASL arrived in the 1940s. Researchers have identified 40 Native signers of Hawaii Sign Language. Most are in their 70’s or older, which is why linguists say without this effort to restore HSL—the language would’ve died with this generation. Linguists say this is the first time since the 1930s a previously unknown language, spoken or signed, has been documented in the U.S. They believe Hawai’i Sign Language may be the last of America’s undiscovered languages.
ahhhh super cool!
Little is known for sure about these two Pre-Raphaelite jewelled miniatures: the Siddal is mentioned often in biographies and articles as photographs of her are rare and because of it’s link to the stillbirth of her child. The hunt is thought to have been painted from a photograph but it’s origins are a mystery. They are unusual and interesting objects.
William Holman Hunt by Edward Robert Hughes it is thought that this portrait was made after the death of hunt, portraying him in his 50s. The frame might be by the Arts and Crafts designer Georgie Gaskin, I think it includes both semi precious stones and diamonds.
Elizabeth Siddal, photograph painted over by D.G Rossetti, gold, sapphire, opal and diamond frame. This portrait is thought to have been given to Elizabeth Siddals Nurse who delivered Siddal’s and Rossetti’s stillborn baby in 1861, the jewelled frame was added later in 1906.
Phuong My SS14
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