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Rossetti’s Obsession: Images of Jane Morris

Detail of a painting of a woman with long red hair

Detail of 'Proserpine' by Rossetti. © Birmingham Museums Trust

20 June - 21 September 2014

Free entry

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'Rossetti's Obsession: Images of Jane Morris' explores the role of Jane Morris as Dante Gabriel Rossetti's chief muse and the embodiment of Pre-Raphaelite beauty. This exhibition brings together rarely displayed works, focusing on Rossetti's fixation with Morris and his depiction of her as the ultimate femme-fatale.

More than 30 paintings, drawings and photographs of Morris, including a number which were used as studies for some of Rossetti's most famous works, feature in the exhibition.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery has one of the best Pre-Raphaelite collections in the world and through these works, the exhibition aims to tell the story of the relationship between two of the movement's chief protagonists.

Born Jane Burden, Morris came to the attention of Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelites in 1857. In 1859 she married William Morris, but shortly after began a long affair with Rossetti. Sharing a deep emotional attachment, Morris and Rossetti's relationship was the source of many of Rossetti's mid-to-late paintings, regarded by many as being among the best of his career.

The exhibition includes the studies 'Pandora' (1878), 'La Donna della Finestra' (1870) and 'La Donna della Fiamma' (1870) from this period but it is the painting 'Proserpine' (1882) which had the deepest resonance with the couple.

Please note - the accompanying catalogue for this exhibition has now sold out.

Image gallery

'Asarte Syriaca - figure study', 1875, Rossetti. © Birmingham Museums Trust. 'Jane Morris seated on a divan', Rossetti.  © Birmingham Museums Trust 'Proserpine', 1882, Rossetti. © Birmingham Museums Trust.


A touring exhibition from Bradford Museums and Galleries.