1855-1874. Painter. Writer. Son of Ford Madox Brown. Oliver started painting as an adolescent but he died before he was 20. At 16 he was writing a novel with illicit love as its theme. Published in a sanitized form as Gabriel Denver in 1873 the original version was published posthumously in 1876 with the title The Black Swan.
|Brown*, Ford Maddox
1821-1893. Painter. Brown was never a formal member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (P.R.B.) but D.G. Rossetti studied with him and became his friend. Brown studied painting in Europe and returned to England in 1845. In 1848 D. G. Rossetti took painting lessons from Brown. Brown contributed poetry, "The Love of Beauty" (sonnet) and an essay, "On the Mechanism of an Historical Picture" (unfinished) to The Germ
1833-1898. Painter. "I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be." Wrote a story "The Cousins" published in Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. Burne-Jones was part of the second wave of Pre-Raphaelitism.
d.1881. Painter. Poet.Collinson was already a professional painter by the time he joined the P.R.B. In 1848 he was engaged to Christina Rossetti but the engagement was broken off because of religious differences. Collinson came from a middle class family and has been described as short, bald, shy and retiring. Nevertheless, Christina apparently was in love with her older brother's friend. Among his paintings are his pre-Pre-Raphaelite work, "The Charity Boy's Debut" and his Pre-Raphaelite painting "The Renunciation of Saint Elizabeth." An example of his poetry is "The Child Jesus" written in 1848.
|Cornworth, Fanny (Sarah Cox)
Model. Muse. Originally a prostitute, Cornforth became a model and a paramour of D.G. Rossetti . Described as "blond and buxom" she represented the polar opposite of Elizabeth Siddal. Cornforth, one commentator writes was "the very incarnation of voluptuous earthiness."
|Hunt, William Holman
1827-1910. Painter. Considered the most important painter of the realistic-wing of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His "brothers" gave him the moniker "the maniac" as a tribute to his severe work habits and discipline. An 1845 self-portrait is in the City Museum and Art Gallery in Birmingham, England and an 1868 self-portrait can be found in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.
Patron. Leathart owned the Tyne Steam Shipping Company in New Castle where he met and befriended William Bell Scott which led to his introduction to D. G. Rossetti and the other Pre-Raphaelites.. Leathart collected and supported the Pre-Raphaelites and he became one of their major patrons.
1829-1896. Painter. At 10 years of age he was admitted to the Royal Academy, becoming the youngest student ever admitted. Millais meets William Holman Hunt in 1847. Hunt introduces Millais to D.G. Rossetti.
Muse. Model. The daughter of a stableman, D. G. Rossetti and William Morris saw her at the theater. Both men fell in love with her, however, Rossetti was already married to Elizabeth Siddal. She was a model for murals that the men where painting at Oxford. In April 1859 she married Morris but Rossetti nevertheless remained in love with his friend's wife. She has been described as "tall and long-necked, with masses of black hair and deep-set dark eyes." Rather an opposite of Fanny Cornforth.
1830-1894. Poet. Sister of Dante Gabriel and William Michael. Her first poems were published when she was 16. Christina wrote poetry for The Germ under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyn. In 1862 Goblin Market and other Poems was published with illustrations by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Her life symbolizes the tension between romantic and spiritual love. She had a romance with P.R.B. member James Collinson which ended because of her religious beliefs. She also had a romance with Charles Cayley, an author, scholar and Dante translator. But this affair also was terminated for religious reasons. There is speculation that she had a romance with William Bell Scott. Ultimately she never married and never had children. Her most famous poem Goblin Market tells the tale of two sisters seduced by goblin men. One sister succumbs, the other does not. In real life Christina did not succumb to the temptations of the flesh.
|Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
1828-1882. Poet. Painter. Rossetti was the dominant figure in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and movement. Educated at King's College School and the Royal Academy Schools, Rossetti ended his formal schooling in 1848 and shortly thereafter he and Hunt and Millais founded the P.R.B. Like his sister, Christina, Rossetti was beset by the tension between the spirit and lust. However, unlike his sibling, Gabriel was perhaps more devoted to the latter. One commentator observes, "[Rossetti] is a stranger to the hesitations of a divided northern soul when it comes up against the apparent conflict of the flesh and the spirit." In 1860 he married his longtime lover and model, Elizabeth Siddal. When she died from a drug overdose Rossetti's life began a downward turn from which he never completely recovered. See Glynn Grylls' Portrait of Rossetti for a more complete picture of his relationship with Siddal and other women.
|Rossetti, William Michael
1829-1919. Writer. Critic. Biographer. Younger brother of Dante Gabriel and Christina. Only member of the P.R.B. not directly involved as a painter. Essentially the archivist and memorist of the P.R.B. Appointed editor of The Germ. Married Ford Madox Brown's daughter Lucy in 1874. Wrote a volume of art criticism, Fine Art, Chiefly Contemporary (1867). His autobiography, Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti was published in 1906. William worked at the Inland Revenue Department from 1845 to 1894.
1811-1890. Poet. Painter. Scott was early on influenced first by the Spasmodics. He was romantically involved with Christina Rossetti. However, since he was an agnostic, his relationship with Christina was doomed to failure. His posthumous Autobiographical Notes (1892) provides useful information about the P.R.B. and its members.
1833-1862. Poet. Model. Muse. Described as the archetypal Pre-Raphaelite woman, Siddal was "discovered" working in a milliner's shop by William Allingham. She became a model for Hunt, Millais and D.G. Rossetti. Rossetti married her in 1860 but two years later, after a miscarriage, she died from a self-administered overdose of laudanum. Siddal wrote poetry and created water-colors, some of the latter can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in England.
1828-1907. Critic. An original member of the P.R.B., Stephens wrote a biography published anonymously in 1860 on William Holman Hunt. He also became the art critic of The Athenaeum magazine in 1861.
1837-1909. Poet. Swinburne met D. G. Rossetti at Oxford in 1857 and later the two lived together in London. More extreme in manner and in views then his friend Rossetti, Swinburne was harsh in his criticism of Victorian aesthetics and morals.
Model.A model used by Edward Burne-Jones. She is "Phyllis" in Burne-Jones' 1870 painting "Phyllis & Demophoon." (The story is from the Roman poet Ovid.). Burne-Jones was in love with Maria. However by 1870 the affair was near collapse. The use of women models that they were in love with is a characteristic of the Pre-Raphaelites.
1824-1889. Poet. A writer associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, Allingham was born in Ireland although he considered his homeland "an ungrateful soil for the cultivation of the higher belles lettres." His Collected Poems appeared in six volumes between 1883 and 1893. In 1897 a collection of D.G. Rossetti's letters to Allingham was published. Allingham has been called a link between the Pre-Raphaelites and the Celtic Twilight writers of the 1890s.
See also this Allingham Interview.
|Howell, Charles A.
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Published: March 9, 2003
Last Update: March 9, 2003