Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings

Transcending Boundaries

by Sophia Andres (Volume editor) Brian Donnelly (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection XVI, 182 Pages


Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings is an international collection of essays written by seasoned and emerging scholars. This book explores, discusses, and provides new perspectives on Pre-Raphaelite paintings inspired by poems and poems inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings, ranging from the inauguration of the movement in 1848 until the end of the nineteenth century. Through a textual and visual journey, this work reflects an innovative approach to Pre-Raphaelite art and Victorian poetry. The rationale in collating this collection of essays is to suggest new approaches for studies in Victorian visual and verbal art. This collection urges new ways of looking at Pre-Raphaelite art and poetry and its dynamic impact on the changing face of Victorian artistic practices through the second half of the nineteenth century, re-evaluating the extent to which this relatively short-lived movement influenced diverse writers and artists and their work. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian poetry and painting, and the intersection between them.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Plates
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Pre-Raphaelite Poetic Paintings: Transcending Spatial and Temporal Boundaries (Sophia Andres / Brian Donnelly)
  • Notes
  • Windows and Bowers: Sexuality and Creativity
  • 1. Gender and Space in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings of “The Eve of St Agnes” (Serena Trowbridge)
  • Notes
  • 2. “Good pictures … are always another poem”: Mapping Spatialities in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” and Elizabeth Siddal’s The Lady of Shalott (Divya Athmanathan)
  • Collapsing Medievalism in Siddal’s “The Lady of Shalott”
  • Hybrid Domesticity
  • Notes
  • Dante Alighieri’s Dreams in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Paintings
  • 3. “A Dramatis Personae of the Soul”: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Proserpine (Laurence Roussillon-Constanty)
  • Notes
  • 4. Portrait of the Artist as an Italian Poet: Rossetti’s Dante (Martina John)
  • Translating and Transforming the Vita Nuova
  • Artistic Isolation—the Poet as an Outsider
  • Art about Art: Self-Reflexivity in Rossetti’s Vita Nuova-Adaptations
  • Notes
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Poems in Paintings: Photography, Realism and Painting
  • 5. Interpretation and Representation in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “Sonnets for Pictures” (Enrique Olivares)
  • Notes
  • 6. “They that would look on her”: Jane Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and “The Portrait” (Daniel Brown)
  • Notes
  • Modernity’s Kaleidoscopic Views
  • 7. Poetic Narrative in William Morris’s and Edward Burne-Jones’s Pygmalion Project (Amelia Yeates)
  • “The Hand Refrains”
  • “The Godhead Fires”
  • Notes
  • 8. Aestheticism and Violent Delight in the Sister Arts of A. C. Swinburne and Simeon Solomon (Sarah Banschbach Valles)
  • Swinburne’s Aestheticism
  • Solomon’s Classicism
  • Representations of Violent Delight
  • Coda
  • Notes
  • 9. From Poet to Painter: The Aestheticism of Swinburne and Whistler (Anne Koval)
  • Notes
  • Conclusion: Pre-Raphaelite Paintings of Classical Texts (Sophia Andres)
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

| vii →


Plate 1.1: Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, The Eve of St Agnes, c. 1850, The National Trust.

Plate 2.1: Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, The Lady of Shalott, 1853, Private Collection.

Plate 3.1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Proserpine, 1874, Tate Gallery, London.

Plate 4.1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Salutation of Beatrice, 1849–50, Fogg Museum, Harvard.

Plate 5.1: Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin of the Rocks, c. 1491-9/1506-8, National Gallery, London.

Plate 6.1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Pandora, 1869, Faringdon Collection.

Plate 7.1: Edward Burne-Jones, Pygmalion and the Image II. The Hand Refrains, 1868–69, Birmingham Museums.

Plate 8.1: Simeon Solomon, Habet!, 1865, Private Collection.

Plate 9.1: James McNeill Whistler, The Little White Girl, 1864, Private Collection.

Plate 9.2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lady Lilith, 1868, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.

| ix →

Notes on Contributors

Sophia Andres is Professor of English and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She is the author of numerous articles on Victorian literature and the Pre-Raphaelites, in addition to The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel: Narrative Challenges to Visual Gendered Boundaries (2006 SCMLA Book Award). Andres is also the recipient of several teaching awards including the Piper and the UT Regents Award for Teaching Excellence. Recently she was inducted into the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Divya Athmanathan received her MSt in English from the University of Oxford, and her Ph.D. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. She researches and writes on Victorian fiction, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Victorian colonial writings and illustrations.

Daniel Brown is currently an independent scholar. He received his Ph.D. in English, with a specialization in British Victorian literature, from the University of Florida in 2012. His recent and first book, Representing Realists in Victorian Literature and Criticism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), argues that our understanding of realism came about by way of nineteenth-century writers’ attempts to understand what they saw happening in the visual arts. Other publications include chapters and articles in Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature (Spring, 2012), The Blackwell Companion to Sensation Fiction, edited by Pamela K. Gilbert (Blackwell, 2011), and Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies (2007).

Brian Donnelly is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published articles on Victorian literature and art in Victorian Poetry, The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, ← ix | x → Victorians, and Victorian Literature and Culture. He is the author of Reading Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Painter as Poet (Ashgate, 2015).

Martina John studied History of Art and English and German literature at Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel and graduated with a Master’s thesis on Edward Burne-Jones’s Holy Grail Tapestries. She published her Ph.D. thesis “Rossetti’s Dante: Image-Text-Relations and the Reception of Literary Subjects in the Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti” via Verlag Ludwig in 2015. She also participated in the conception of the exhibitions “K(l)eine Experimente. Kunst und Design der 50er Jahre in Deutschland” (Stiftung Schleswig Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloß Gottorf), and “Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision” (Manchester City Art Gallery). John lives and works as a digital editor in Hamburg, Germany.

Anne Koval is Professor of Art History in the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University. Her Ph.D. is from the University of London where she specialized in nineteenth century art, and she has published extensively on the artist James McNeill Whistler. She is also a writer and curator of contemporary art. Her most recent essays include “Calling the Cuckoo,” a profile of artist Linda Rae Dornan appearing in Volume 2 of More Caught in the Act: Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2016). As a poet she was commissioned to write ekphrastic poetry for Sarindar Dhaliwal’s catalogue The Radcliffe Line and Other Geographies. Her poems have been published in the Queen’s Quarterly, and Ekphrasis Journal.

Enrique Olivares is a scholar, songwriter and professor of English literature in the General Studies Department of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. He graduated from the UPR, Rio Piedras with a B.A. (2010) and M.A. (2013). His thesis “Ut Picture Poesis: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Double Work of Art” was awarded the Thomas Sullivan award for outstanding research. His academic interests are poetics, the literature of art and the long British nineteenth century, particularly Victorian poetry and the works of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood within the frame of empire and its connections to the Caribbean in the postcolonial frame. He has presented extensively both at home and abroad (including Oxford and Liverpool) on topics ranging from literature, media culture and musicology.

Laurence Roussillon-Constanty is Professor in English Literature, Art and Epistemology at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (France) and a Member of the Research Group CICADA (Centre Intercritique des Arts et des Discours sur les Arts). Her main research field is Victorian literature and painting and word and image studies and she has published several articles on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Ruskin. She is the author of Méduse au miroir. Esthétique romantique de Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Grenoble: ← x | xi → ELLUG, 2007) and co-editor (with David Clifford) of The Rossettis Then and Now (London: Anthem Press, 2003). She also co-authored a translation into French of a selection of texts from John Ruskin’s Modern Painters (Pau: PUP, 2006). In recent years she has initiated several projects on art and science relations and co-edited two books: Science, Fables and Chimeras (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) and Imprint, Impregnation, Impression (PUP, 2014).

Serena Trowbridge is Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University. Her research focuses on the Pre-Raphaelites, in both literature and art, and she is currently preparing an edition of the poems of Elizabeth Siddall. Her monograph, Christina Rossetti’s Gothic, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014, and an edited collection, Pre-Raphaelite Masculinities (Ashgate, with Amelia Yeates) also appeared in 2014. Recent publications include “‘Truth to Nature’: the pleasures and dangers of the environment in Christina Rossetti’s poetry,” in Victorians and the Environment, eds. Mazzeno and Morrison (Ashgate, 2017); and a chapter on graveyard poetry for Gothic and Death, ed. Carol M. Davison (Manchester UP, 2017).

Sarah Banschbach Valles is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. Her work on early modern British poetry uncovers the religious and political nature of Renaissance marriage and ritual, particularly in the works of the poets John Milton, Amelia Lanyer, and Robert Herrick. Her interests include book history and print culture, religion and literature, writing center pedagogy, Westerns, and Victorian visual art. Valles is the recipient of several departmental and graduate school scholarships and awards. Her work has been published in St. Austin Review and in the edited collection Contemporary Westerns.

Amelia Yeates is Senior Lecturer in Art History at Liverpool Hope University. She has published on Pygmalionism, women’s reading practices and artistic masculinities in the nineteenth century. She was co-editor of Pre-Raphaelite Masculinities (Ashgate, 2014) and editor of a special issue of Visual Culture in Britain (July 2015) on The Male Artist in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

| xiii →


Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings: Transcending Boundaries would not have been possible without the generous support of the Dunagan family that a few years ago granted the Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Endowed Professorship in the Humanities to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Professor Sophia Andres, who currently holds this Professorship, is deeply grateful to Kathlyn and John Dunagan for once again making scholarly dreams a reality to be shared with scholars and students who love literature and art.

In addition to the anonymous readers at Peter Lang, the editors wish to warmly thank the following scholars for their willingness to read the manuscript of Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings: Transcending Boundaries and provide their valuable feedback: Professor Constance Fulmer, Pepperdine University; Professor Bryn Gribben, Seattle University; Dr. Rita R. Wright, Director Springville Museum of Art. We would also like to thank our editor Meagan Simpson for her insight and support.

Most importantly we would like to thank the contributors to this volume for their intellectual vigor, energy, patience, and good humor.


XVI, 182
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (February)
New York, Bern, Frankfurt, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XVI, 182 pp., 1 b/w ill., 9 col. ill.

Biographical notes

Sophia Andres (Volume editor) Brian Donnelly (Volume editor)

Sophia Andres is Professor of English and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She is the author of The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel: Narrative Challenges to Visual Gendered Boundaries (winner of the 2006 SCMLA Book Award). Brian Donnelly is Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Reading Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Painter as Poet (2015).


Title: Poetry in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
book preview page numper 25
book preview page numper 26
book preview page numper 27
book preview page numper 28
book preview page numper 29
book preview page numper 30
book preview page numper 31
book preview page numper 32
book preview page numper 33
book preview page numper 34
book preview page numper 35
book preview page numper 36
book preview page numper 37
book preview page numper 38
book preview page numper 39
book preview page numper 40
200 pages