Tag Archives: The Moonstone

Note on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images!!

“The Black Brunswicker” (1860) by John Everett Millais

“Isabella and the Pot of Basil” (1868) by William Holman Hunt

“Found” (1865–1869, unfinished) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

One of my more recent obsessions is with the artists know as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, it’s most famous members being John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Like many of my obsessions, the Pre-Raphaelites have been floating around the periphery of my awareness for some time, perhaps years. My interest was peaked only recently (this spring) by the Legion of Honor‘s stunning exhibit “The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860 – 1900,” featuring works by not only the Pre-Raphaelites but also their contemporaries, students, and successors (including William Morris, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, etc.). This exhibit picked up the threads of some other interests of mine, such as Charles Dickens’s companion and fellow writer Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone, The Woman in White, etc.). The exhibit also inspired me to dig deeper into the lives of these eccentric Victorian “Renaissance” men!

An easy way to learn more about the Pre-Raphaelites is through the BBC six-part series Desperate Romantics (2009), featuring a cast of lovely men and women (Aidan Turner, Rafe Spall, and Amy Manson to name a few) and gorgeous period costumes. While at times exuding a contemporary (as in 21st century) feel in the vein of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006), the series is very painstakingly researched yet thoroughly enjoyable to watch. It’s a series I’m just itching to re-watch and show to all my friends.

Aidan Turner as Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Another wonderful way to enjoy the Pre-Raphaelites is through the online comic Pre-Raphernalia: The Pre-Raph Sketchbook Cartoons of Raine Szramski (preraphernalia.blogspot.com). This series is another painstakingly researched yet thoroughly enjoyable journey into the bizarre history of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with plenty of cameos by Rossetti’s pet wombat named “Top.”

My most recent encounter with the Pre-Raphaelites is surprisingly through the British footwear brand Dr. Martens. Dr. Martens has teamed up with Liberty of London to create shoes and purses featuring William Morris’s celebrated “Strawberry Thief” textile design. My birthday’s coming up, so I’m hoping to get my paws on one of these timeless purses!

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Brainstorming

Ideas for future projects…

The following is a list of various works (literature, poetry, art, etc.) that have influenced me and may influence new projects in the future, as well as ideas that have been churning around in my head.

Also, this is a sort of semi-reading list for books I would like to read and re-read. Some advice for anyone interested in reading these books: Project Gutenberg, Bartleby.com, etc. are WONDERFUL for literature written in English. But if you are interested in Dumas, Hoffmann, Pushkin, or any other author who did not write in English, I would highly recommend Penguin Classics — their English translations are always BRILLIANT (although the very best, of course, is to read a work in its original language — for instance, I happen to hate Dazai Osamu and Yoshimoto Banana translated [no offense to the translators, it's not their fault], but I absolutely love them in the original Japanese)!!

In no particular order…

  • Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin: about to read.
  • The Tales of Hoffmann by E.T.A. Hoffmann: must read.
  • The Moonstone, etc. by Wilkie Collins: must re-read/read.
  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri: have read.
  • The works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: have read/must read.
  • Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther and his friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem: have read/would like to continue to research.
  • Philipp Otto Runge, Romantic German painter: have researched.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, The Black Tulip, etc. by Alexandre Dumas: have read.
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Suicide Club by Robert Louis Stevenson: must read.
  • Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey: must read.
  • John Singer Sargent and the Portrait of Madame X: have seen at the Met/must research.
  • Lord Byron (“The Limping Devil”), Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley — the origins of Frankenstein: have read/must research.
  • Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Franz Liszt (as a young piano teacher): would like to continue to research.
  • Béla Bartók (and his research into folk music): would like to continue to research.
  • David Popper (Bohemian cellist and my all-time favorite composer): need to find more information about him!
  • The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden by Federico García Lorca: have read.
  • A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg: have read.
  • The works of Christopher Isherwood: have read.
  • The Quiet American and The Third Man by Graham Greene: love movies/must read.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Constant Gardener by John le Carré: love movies/must read.
  • Hollywood stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Mary Pickford, Sessue Hayakawa, etc.
  • The Stones Cry Out by Okuizumi Hikaru: have read.
  • The works of Dazai Osamu: have read/must read.
  • The works of Ibuse Masuji: must read.
  • The works of Mishima Yukio: have read.
  • The works of Kenzaburo Oe: have read.
  • Okinawan literature: have read.
  • Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor: have researched.
  • Hendrik Goltzius, the Dutch engraver: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Morris Louis, American Color Field painter: have researched/would like to continue to research.
  • Jean Cocteau, French filmmaker: would like to research.
  • Philippe Halsman, Latvian-born American photographer: would like to research.
  • The operas of Jacques Offenbach, Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Giacomo Puccini, etc.
  • …?
To be continued…!

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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