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Posts Tagged ‘The Lady of Shalott’

I have seen headlines for a lot of articles today about Elizabeth Siddall/Siddal, also known as Lizzie, Victorian artist and poet, who died much too young; I’m planning to Spotify said articles tomorrow, and will post the link here. Every one of these pieces is testament to Elizabeth not having been forgotten in the 186 years since she was born. She is one of my favourite artists, and it’s tragic that her adult life was so marked by illness and heartbreak, by addiction and depression, affecting her strength and ability to get the renown as an artist that her work deserved. You can read more about her life here. (more…)

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Joseph Perrier Cave, Châlons-en-Champagne (via Châlons Office de Tourisme)

In July 1992, following a school trip to Châlons-en-Champagne (then called Châlons-sur-Marne, I went to stay with my cousin in London for a week. The place I most wanted to visit was Tate Britain. I had heard so much about its collections, but had never visited it. I’d loved Victorian art since I first encountered Sir Frank Dicksee’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci (c.1902). I’ve never seen the original painting, but since first seeing a print thereof, I’ve said that her dress would be the dress I’d want to wear to my wedding. I was about ten years old then; since I was about 15, it’s probably more accurate to say that I would love to wear such dresses every day. Dicksee was inspired by John Keats’ poem of the same title, which I’ve been told was taken from a 15th century poem of the same title but different subject matter.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, by Sir Frank Dicksee (c.1902)

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, by Sir Frank Dicksee (c.1902)

But the painting that began my uninterrupted romance with Victorian art, with the Pre-Raphaelites in particular, was one that I saw on that first visit to Tate Britain, so many years ago. I knew before then that I liked their work, and I had seen this particular painting in small-scale art prints over and over again. But I had never seen it in all its original glory. I’ve never stopped looking at it since that day.

The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse (oil on canvas, 1888, Tate Britain)

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This painting made me into the Victorian Librarian long before I knew it was so.

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