1) A photo of Elizabeth Siddal, pre-raphaelite goddess. The boys got all the press and credit...but the models were the face of their movement. Elizabeth Siddal was a woman with her own talents: she was an excellent painter, perhaps with more edge than her boyfriend! She also wrote poems.
2) Before the Battle by Elizabeth Siddal
3) I think she would be an incredible subject for a movie. Just think of the sets, the costumes and make-up of this fascinating period of art and ideals.
4) She floated in a bath tub to model for the painting of Ophelia. She got very ill from this and had continued ill health for the rest of her life. Her father almost sued Millias.
5) Art critic John Ruskin subsidized her career. He was her real friend. I wonder if he was in love with her?
6) One of her poems...The Lust of the Eyes
I care not for my Lady's soul
Though I worship before her smile;
I care not where be my Lady's goal
When her beauty shall lose its wile.
Low sit I down at my Lady's feet
Gazing through her wild eyes
Smiling to think how my love will fleet
When their starlike beauty dies.
I care not if my Lady pray
To our Father which is in Heaven
But for joy my heart's quick pulses play
For to me her love is given.
Then who shall close my Lady's eyes
And who shall fold her hands?
Will any hearken if she cries
Up to the unknown lands?
7) The Ladie's Lament from the Ballad of Sir Patrick Spenser. A painting by Elizabeth Siddal.
8) The Queen of Hearts Siddal posed for Gabriel Dante Rossetti almost exclusively after the bath tub ordeal. They were in love. But were not married for most of their relationship.
8) Beata Beatrix by Rossetti. Siddal and Rossetti were lovers, she was his model and learned art and poetry from him. He eventually married her although his family did not approve.
9) The women involved in the Pre-Raphaelite movement were radicals...this photo is the strict formal materialistic clothing of the time of Siddal. Siddals loose fashions harken to ancient motifs of a return to traditional and artist interests in history rather than uptight materialism.
10) Compare Siddal's wild orginal flowing hair to this mean style from the mainstream.
11)) Siddal was addicted to laudadum and died of an overdose. Rossetti threw an original manuscript of poems into her casket in torment...but later regretted the action and she was exhumed to rescue the poems. The poetry was a critical failure.
12) When her body was exhumed to collect the poetry manuscript of Rossetti, he could not attend. His friend in charge of collecting the poems calimed that her copper hair had grown after her death and filled the casket and she hadn't decomposed. Her former lover was haunted by the exhumation for the rest of his life.
13) The Quest of the Holy Grail by Elizaberth Siddal.
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