Yes! My Pre-Raphaelite posts are back. After much fretting and guilt, I have decided to return to post a Pre-Raphaelite picture a day, for the furthering of my own confidence in my intelligent and for the enjoyment of beautiful art and (hopefully) interesting factoids for all. So enjoy.
Doppelgänger. The word is derived from the German language, and first came into English vocabulary in 1851. Doppelgänger has a variety of meanings, including a person who resembles another person in physicality, voice or behavior; a person who has the same name as another person; and, most cryptically, the ghostly counterpart of a living person. Old wives’ tales claim if one meets their doppelgänger, it foreshadows their death.
It was this aspect that fascinated Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He had always drawn to the dark, the ominous, and- in later life- even the supernatural, even holding séances in his bachelor home on Cheyne Walk in an effort contact his deceased wife. The doppelgänger in particular was a story that Rossetti was fascinated by. From his youth he enjoyed exploring the concept in both his art and his writing, but it was not until 1860 that he produce a completed piece of art.
1860 was the year that, after ten years of an off-and-on engagement, Rossetti married his ‘dear dove’ Elizabeth Siddal, his model, muse and pupil. Their honeymoon took place in Paris, but Lizzie was too ill to do little more then rest in their hotel. So Rossetti, alone for the beginning of his marriage, wandered the streets of Paris and the silent corridors of art galleries alone, and when he was not exploring he completed this watercolour entitled How They Met Themselves.
The drawing shows a man and a woman walking the forest and suddenly stumbling upon their doppelgänger. The doppelgängers, are completely calm at seeing their doubles, while the young couple are terrified: the woman is seen in a swooning, almost falling position, arms outstretched as if in shock, and the man’s hand has gone to his sword as if ready to protect himself against the superstition of death.
It is a strange painting to complete during a honeymoon, when life should be full of light and possibility. In this way, How They Met Themselves perhaps illustrates Rossetti’s own lack of commitment to his marriage, if not a newfound awareness of human fallibility promoted by Lizzie’s weakened state. Whatever Rossetti’s thinking behind doing this painting during his and Lizzie’s honeymoon, it remains one of the most haunting and beautiful of his works.
The sculpture based on it is by John Singer Sargent.
Would you believe us if we told you that these articles of clothing aren’t made of clothing at all? We hope so, because it’s true. These aren’t pieces of clothing, they’re unbelievably realistic marble sculptures. These mind-blowing stone garments are the work of a Sydney-based sculptor named Alex Seton.
"Alex’s preferred material is Carrara marble, a type of white or blue-grey marble that is quarried at the city of Carrara, located in the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy. The marble has been used for sculpture and building decor since the time of Ancient Rome.”
God, this is the most beautiful thing I think I’ve seen. I’ve been just looking at it for a good minute.
There aren’t enough black people depicted in neo-classical art so when I saw this I was like 0.0
Statues in the Mist at Athelhampton House by Andrea Cooke
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