THEME THURSDAY: RED
( A view from my red-walled parlor with a print of Rossetti's A Sea Spell above the fireplace mantel. This is my favorite spot to cuddle up with a hot cuppa Earl Grey and a good book. )
Hold then thy heart against her shining hair,
If, by thy fate, she spread it once for thee,
For when she nets a young man in that snare
So twine she him he never may be free.
(Lilith, translated from Goethe by Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
They peer out from beyond their idealized existence, skin luminescent glowing and flawless, faces belonging to goddesses, saints, and sirens. Their heavy lidded eyes stare dreamily off into a distant alter- reality. Their feminine mystique exudes through their full ruby red lips. They manifest into our world by way of rich vibrant paint on canvas, straight out of ancient mythology and medieval legend.
Commanding, powerful bodies, languid swanlike necks, and striking features almost always served as a prerequisite in order for these women to be christened a “stunner”, an affectionate term given to their specially selected models by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, and A. Charles Swinburne. Rossetti and company elevated common, mortal, milliner’s assistants, shop girls, daughters, and mothers to tragic heroines and romanticized deities.
Perhaps the most peculiar feature that these seductive creatures often had in common was their flowing red hair. This was an attribute greatly desired by the above mentioned artists, among others, of the period.
Below is an offering of some of my favorite Rossetti's, all featuring one of his beloved "stunners", Alexa Wilding. She is seen in all her glory with alluring fiery serpentine red hair so often associated with that of a Pre-Raphaelite muse.
(A Sea Spell, Rossetti)
(Veronica Veronese, Rossetti)
(Lady Lilith, Rossetti)
( Roman Window, Rossetti)