Sunday, March 1, 2009


Beata Beatrix by Rossetti - Tate Gallery London

Silent Noon
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms;
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky;
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companion'd inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I came across the above painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, went to find out more about him and stumbled upon a tragic love story. Most of his early paintings of women are portraits of his wife, Elizabeth, an artists' model. He ultimately forbade her to model for other Pre-Raphaelite artists. Beata Beatrix, which portrays a praying Beatrice (Beatrice Portinari, Dante Alighieri's lifelong love), was painted one year after Elizabeth's death. Dante Alighieri's poetry was translated by Rossetti and included in his book, 'The Early Italian Poets', published in 1861.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882

Rossetti's early poetry and the only copy, was interred with Elizabeth's body, later exhumed and published in 'Poems by D.G. Rosetti'.

There is so much more to read about Dante Rosetti and Elizabeth Siddal, with thanks to Wikipedia and their references and at this link.


ruthie said...

Hello - i just came across your blog & this entry and had to say that Rossetti is one of my absolute favoutites and such a love story! - just beautiful *ruthie*

Coccinella said...

Indeed, it was. I love all of those PRB artists and I must say that I also love your blog, your art and photography - congratulations! You're very lucky to have so much of the celtic art around you there in Scotland.