Keep Rossetti in the picture

April 14, 2011

Two articles by Matthew Reisz draw welcome attention to excellent Victorian art exhibitions, but neither does Dante Gabriel Rossetti justice.

To say that none of Rossetti's paintings comes close to capturing the ethereal beauty of John Parsons' photographs ("Captivated by captured emotions", 31 March) serves to downplay Rossetti since, as an early and enthusiastic adopter of photography as an art form, Rossetti composed and directed most if not all the photos of Jane Morris. This stage setting and Rossetti's vision of the ideal, through his relationship with Morris, were most likely what allowed the posing to bring out the sitter's unconventional beauty. So while Parsons is a fine technical photographer, the ethereal nature of these photographs owes a great deal to Rossetti.

In describing Rossetti's art in the context of the Aesthetic Movement ("Wilde, alluring and utterly utter", 7 April), the chance to note Rossetti's pioneering spirit in experimenting with new painting techniques leading to jewel-like colours in his medieval works is missed in favour of a rather trite comment about subjects being "kitted out in medieval fancy dress".

Rossetti may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as a gifted mind of exceptional breadth and talent, he deserves credit when it is due. There is an exhibition at Birmingham Art Gallery (Poetry of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing) where I hope it will be third time lucky for Rossetti.

Clive Rowland, Cheshire

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show