|Artist||after Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|Published||The Art Journal, London. H. Virtue & Co, Ltd. c.1895|
From the 'Art Journal'.
The 'Art Journal' originally opposed the emerging Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with its articles attacking the the movement and its supporter, John Ruskin. When the editor, Samuel Carter Hall, retired in 1880, the Art Journal changed its stance.
The Beloved or the bride is from the biblical Song of Solomon. Rossetti shows her at the moment she takes the veil from her face, transfixing the viewer with her direct gaze and the power of her beauty. The picture's lush exoticism is accentuated by the flowers and the bride's luxurious Japanese dress and Chinese headpiece. Her attendants are of varying physical types and ethnic origin. Some modern commentators suggest that Rossetti is celebrating the diversity of beauty. Others see it as racist, a visualisation of the supremacy of the bride's whiteness, in contrast to the darker complexions of her attendants.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) was a famed British painter and poet. Born in London, Dante Gabriel Rossetti entered Henry Sass's Drawing Academy in 1841, and by 1845, was a full student of the Royal Academy Schools. In August 1848, he moved with William Holman Hunt to a studio in Cleveland Street and around September of the same year, founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with the aforementioned Hunt as well as John Everett Millais. He was as adept in writing as he was in painting and was largely responsible for the Pre-Raphaelite magazine The Germ, published in 1850. He was a prolific poet, as well as a translator of early Italian Masters, most of which were published in 1861. The sweeping and languid forms of the women he painted in the 1860's became something of an archetype for the Pre-Raphaelite canon. Unfortunately for Rossetti, his decline was as meteoric as his rise. His mental deterioration was accelerated by neurasthenia, insomnia, a chloral hydrate dependency and a form of persecution mania. He spent long periods of reclusion at Jane and William Morris's Kelmscott Manor, and eventually succumbed to chronic nephritis in 1882.