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´╗┐Title: Drawings of Rossetti
Author: Wood, T. Martin
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Internet Archive)



  DRAWINGS OF D. G. ROSSETTI

[Illustration: MODERN MASTER DRAUGHTSMEN]

[Illustration:

  FRONTISPIECE
  MARY AT THE DOOR OF SIMON     _Photo, Mansell_]



           DRAWINGS OF ROSSETTI

              [Illustration]

     LONDON. GEORGE NEWNES LIMITED
     SOUTHAMPTON STREET STRAND W.C.
    NEW YORK. CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

             BALLANTYNE PRESS
            LONDON & EDINBURGH



           LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                           PLATE
  MARY AT THE DOOR OF SIMON     _Frontispiece_
  LA DONNA DELLA FINESTRA                      I
  ST. GEORGE                                  II
  ST. GEORGE                                 III
  DANTIS AMOR                                 IV
  LA GHIRLANDATA                               V
  THE PRINCE'S PROGRESS                       VI
  STUDY FOR THE SALUTATION                   VII
  THE SANGRAAL                              VIII
  LA DONNA DELLA FIAMMA                       IX
  THE ROSELEAF                                 X
  HESTERNA ROSA                               XI
  STUDY FOR LA BELLA MANO                    XII
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD               XIII
  STUDY FOR HEAD: DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG     XIV
  STUDY FOR DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG            XV
  STUDY FOR ASTARTE SYRIACA                  XVI
  MARY AT THE DOOR OF SIMON                 XVII
  THE COUCH                                XVIII
  STUDY FOR BEATRICE                         XIX
  SKETCH OF MISS SIDDAL                       XX
  RICORDITI DI ME CHE SON LA PIA             XXI
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD               XXII
  CHRISTINA ROSSETTI                       XXIII
  CASSANDRA                                 XXIV
  LADY WITH A FAN                            XXV
  PANDORA                                   XXVI
  ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE                     XXVII
  THE PALACE OF ART                       XXVIII
  LACHESIS                                  XXIX
  HAMLET AND OPHELIA                         XXX
  VENUS VERTICORDIA                         XXXI
  FORD MADOX BROWN                         XXXII
  MISS SIDDAL                             XXXIII
  DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI                   XXXIV
  STUDY FOR QUEEN GUINEVERE                 XXXV
  STUDY FOR DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG         XXXVI
  SIR LAUNCELOT IN THE QUEEN'S CHAMBER    XXXVII
  STUDY FOR LA DONNA DELLA FINESTRA      XXXVIII
  STUDY FOR DANTE'S DREAM                  XXXIX
  THE GATE OF MEMORY                          XL
  STUDY FOR THE BLESSED DAMOZEL              XLI
  HOW THEY MET THEMSELVES                   XLII
  THE LADY OF THE GOLDEN CHAIN             XLIII
  THE DEATH OF LADY MACBETH                 XLIV
  MRS. WILLIAM MORRIS                        XLV
  STUDY FOR DANTE                           XLVI
  DESIGN FOR A BALLAD                      XLVII
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD             XLVIII

Transcriber Note:
  The caption on Plate XXXIII was changed to FORD MADOX BROWN.
  The caption on Plate XXXV was changed to STUDY FOR QUEEN GUINEVERE.
  In LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, changed MR. WILLIAM MORRIS to MRS. WILLIAM
      MORRIS.
  The "ae" ligature was replaced with simply ae.



   THE DRAWINGS OF D. G. ROSSETTI
          BY T. MARTIN WOOD


The intensely subjective nature of Rossetti's art is what gives it
fascination for its lovers; it belonged to himself. Even in his early
period and with his dramatic subjects this was so, and partly by the
depth of imaginative meaning he read into the faces of women. The last
phase of his art was entirely one of self-revelation; his own moments
of sorrow were mirrored in one woman's face, moments in which he
created sadly, living over again in them some hours that had been happy.

    This is her picture as she was:
      It seems a thing to wonder on,
    As though mine image in the glass
      Should tarry when myself am gone.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              for so
    Was the still movement of her hands
      And such the pure line's gracious flow.

       *       *       *       *       *

      'Tis she: though of herself, alas!
      Less than her shadow on the grass
    Or than her image in the stream.

One might hazard the question whether it were possible for a painter
such as Rossetti, seeking expression in his art for this intensity of
feeling, to vie in the rendering of the external aspects with those
painters who have approached life with that cold acuteness to the
appearance of things and aloofness from their meaning characteristic of
work that has contributed largely to the actual science of painting.
To Rossetti life came over-crowded, over-coloured. There was too much
for him to realise in his working moments. The very richness of his
nature embarrassed his output. His gifts gave him so many ways of
self-expression from which to choose. The phases through which his
genius passed, the result of an inherited and rare temperament and its
adventures, made the science of painting prosaic for him. He himself
felt latterly that this impatience had left his ideas pathetically at
the mercy of his materials. Apart from the quality in colour to which
he attained, one is conscious always in his paintings of the tragedy
of genius striving for expression through an ineffectual technique.
Rossetti's individuality, however, was so strong that it stamped itself
everywhere; in spite of every limitation his art explains his attitude
towards life. In his ability to make it show this his greatness lies,
and in the fact that the point of view that it suggested was his alone.
His art created for itself its own atmosphere--an unfamiliar one at
first to Englishmen, with its subserviency of everything to a romantic
emotionalism. The histories of the world for Rossetti were its stories
of emotion, and in every place that his memory knew Love's image had
been set to reign, Love who had wandered down through the ages decked
with the flowers of art, offerings of bygone lovers, dead lovers to
never dying Love. As a strange spirit Rossetti entered modern London. A
heart rich from many forgotten experiences seemed to have lodged itself
in him and he painted with eyes filled with the colours of old things.
For him the tapestries could never fade in a room that had known love's
history, nor the colours leave the missal which told the story of a
soul.

How far his drawings were intended to foreshadow large paintings which
he desired to make as windows for us to look with him into his romantic
country we cannot say. As it is they show that it was in Rossetti's
power to be the greatest imaginative illustrator of his century; that
he was not so seems to prove that in this way, as in some others, he
failed to attain to much that at first had seemed included in his
destiny. In his paintings, in his poetry, in these drawings something
there is that was new, and that brought a fresh phase into art and
literature in England. It is something which has influenced permanently
the nation's thought and has been even admitted into the procession
of its fashions. For a time women tried to look as the women in his
paintings, so much had the type he chose, which was his own creation,
imposed itself upon their imagination.

The Rossetti woman, if she did not supersede the early Victorian type,
at least helped to change it, and to mark a change which was taking
place in the ideals of the nation. Fresh tendencies in national thought
are always correspondingly represented by a change in the type of women
idealised in its art and poetry. When the Victorian type went, the time
had passed when homage was given to women for a surrender of their
claims on life. The new type spoke of the ardent way in which another
generation of women was creating for itself wide interests in the
world.

Rossetti displayed in his art the dramatic sense; we find him in his
earlier drawings always illustrating dramatic subjects, rendering
action in his figures in a way that proclaims him at once as one of
those to whom the actions of men, the faces of women, come tragically
or otherwise into every dream. One is enabled to write more clearly on
this point by comparing him with his friend Burne-Jones. Burne-Jones'
figures live in a dream in which the world has little part, whilst
Rossetti's dream is of the world itself. His work is rich with the
human experience that is absent in the art of his friend. He is
accredited with being the leader of a phase of decadence, while,
as a matter of fact, no one could have been further removed from
anything like a "decadent" pose. Rossetti had an unconscious and
unexplained sympathy for life that tragically pursued, and found
itself shipwrecked upon, its own illusions. It was part of his art's
vitality. There was little defiance in his attitude, it was altogether
one of pity. Indiscriminate publication has familiarised the public
only with the last sad phase of Rossetti's art, and unhappily this is
esteemed characteristic. The intimate patrons of the painter possessed
themselves of his early work; now it is inaccessible, and it is not at
his best that he is seen in any public collection.

It is possible to like the art of Rossetti very deeply, and also to
love the changing colours of the sea and the shadows of the sun clouds
moving swiftly on the hills. But often to pagan lovers of such things
the art of Rossetti, shuttered close in its mediaeval darkened rooms,
has seemed as an almost poisonous flower, with its forgetfulness of the
world without.

It can never be sufficiently emphasised how necessary it is in judging
any art first of all to share some of the mood in which it was created.
Those who would enter into the atmosphere of Rossetti's art must find
their way to it in the darkened light of dreams. It stands in no
relation whatever to the workaday world.

A poet whose writings realised an opposite temperament to Rossetti's
own would have had the test of poetry that it could be taken to the
fields in the early morning and read. To attempt to bring a painting
of Rossetti's into relationship with nature out of doors would to all
intents put an end to the reason for its artistic existence. It would
be to demand of it that it should strike a note in tune with a mood
the direct opposite to that which it was its intention to create.
Though art should always be examined in its own atmosphere, much of the
criticism applied to Rossetti is but the bringing of his art out into
the fields. It is not valuable criticism that approaches work in a
spirit of this kind.

A great deal too much has been made in writing of Rossetti's
Pre-Raphaelitism. To a nature like Rossetti's any school, any methods
he may have taken up with, or inspired, would be largely accidental
to his environment. Arrived at a time of reaction, of revolution in
English painting, with his qualities of leadership he threw himself
into Pre-Raphaelitism as a new movement, but it is more than probable
his genius would have found methods of expression as personal to
itself in the refinements that entered English painting in the wake
of Pre-Raphaelitism,--only the Pre-Raphaelite movement could not have
been but for the ardent genius of Rossetti which poured inspiration
into all those who gathered about him. He departed from Pre-Raphaelite
tenets just when it suited him; its hold over him lay chiefly in that
he liked to realise very definitely the shapes of objects in his art,
because they made his dreams real and gave pleasure to those eyes
of his that so hungered after every sign of beauty. The secrets of
art lie, after all, more within the vision than in expression. That
Rossetti could have directed his genius into another manner from
Pre-Raphaelitism seems possible from the fact that in his poetry so
many styles meet and show his variegated temperament expressing itself
in opposing forms. What was of literary significance in Rossetti's
art perhaps gained from Pre-Raphaelitism, for Pre-Raphaelitism made
things symbolical. To nearly every object that they brought into their
pictures the Pre-Raphaelites gave meaning other than its own, other
than that which was simply artistic. Now Rossetti, looking on his art
and its relationship to life from a literary more than from an artistic
standpoint, striving to attain in art not an imitation of life but an
expression of his ideas about it, found, as we have said, painters'
problems a difficulty. He was irritated by difficulties which to a
whole-hearted painter present pleasures of conquest in proportion
to their resistance to his craftsmanship and skill. In other ways
Rossetti lacked the characteristics of really great painters as such;
he had not the seeing eye that gives to every outward thing a shape
and colour already formed within the mind. From such a cult of the
eyes as this comes the true painter. By taking thought art does not
become a metaphor for ideas, though the whole aim of its subject may
be to make it so. Art is always metaphorical, whatever its subject
and however unconsciously, to itself. The presence of genius only is
needed. Yet because in actual pigment red can never be anything other
than red, ideas are clothed more easily in the colour of words, for
in themselves words have no colour and they have no existence other
than the existence which they have in thought, and the colour which any
language lends them.

Rossetti could not learn painting instinctively as he learnt writing;
for him the materials were not so simple, they remained during a
long apprenticeship an obstacle rather than an aid to impassioned
expression, and from his apprenticeship he never emerged into anything
approaching freedom. Upon the vivacity of the imagination in them, and
not upon subtlety of line or of observation, the claims of Rossetti's
drawings rest, though it is wonderful how often he lifts his art up to
the level of all that he has to say and imposes upon us a forgetfulness
of its shortcomings. His studies do not reveal a master who looked
upon objects and beautiful forms for their own sake and for the sake
of the tender drawing he could find in them. Rossetti, indeed, loved a
visible world, and liked to interpret the beauty of natural objects,
but he was always in haste to get the scene set where such objects
were, after all, for him only as accessories to the thing enacted, or
as notes in an orchestration; of value but not existing by themselves.
He gave to every object the import of the drama in his mind; in his art
things seem to have about them the meaning lent them by an imagination
that spiritualised objective things so that they seem there in
essence only and rendered with a sympathy that shows how alive to the
significance of outward beauty Rossetti was, and how his own time and
every-day surroundings were fused and blent with his most far-reaching
imaginings. To turn to outward things, and to study them as merely
offering various surfaces to the light, holding depths of shadow,
possessing lines of delicate shape, was, however, impossible to his
temperament. The characteristic story of Madox Brown setting in early
days the young Rossetti down to paint such still life as jam jars, and
of the young painter's impatience, shows that to paint or draw the
objects for their own sake only was not congenial to him. There was
very likely sufficient of the true painter in Rossetti to make such
study a delight, had his mind ever been still enough for his hand to
playfully carry out such problems; but always at the back of his mind,
at the back of the world for him, a strange drama of love and beauty
went on. How then could time be spent in studying what, after all, were
merely objects, how could time be spent in deliberating over the study
of them? And so the drawings which Rossetti left us are seldom studies
of poses and draperies, such elaborate scaffolding as that upon which
the art of Burne-Jones was built. They are little pictures in most
cases, in which the pencil or the pen afforded a readier and less
laboured means of realising quickly the life dramatic of imagination.

Illustration essentially suited his genius in so far as in small
dimensions it was easier to reflect easily, whilst the power of
creation lasted, what was moving in a mind that was held by no one mood
for long. It suited his genius also because it minimised the labour of
creation, and with Rossetti it was always apparent that creation was
a labour. He himself has said in that other art in which perhaps he
always found his happiest expression--

    Unto the man of yearning thought
    And aspiration, to do nought
    Is in itself almost an act,--
    Being chasm-fire and cataract
    Of the soul's utter depths unseal'd.

A body that grew faint under the strain of over-feverish genius
undoubtedly imposed its indolence upon Rossetti's spirit, so that he
shirked the difficulties of his earlier subjects until the downfall
of his art set in with the constant production, for indiscriminating
purchasers, of a face that grew more and more distant from the
beautiful type of his earlier inspiration, which till the end he always
pathetically imagined himself to be creating.

Turning to the illustrations, that called _A Drawing for a Ballad_ with
its free and loose handling, its qualities of selection and emphasis,
show how great in many ways Rossetti was. What lines could be simpler
than those in the girl's dress? In such a sketch as this, in the little
things, Rossetti is masterly, and one cannot here separate what he has
to say from the saying of it. This sketch shows an artist great enough
to be unpretentious, and it shows that the happy qualities of mind,
united with its craft, sprang from his habits of thought. We see in it
with what natural tenderness he has sketched, how by one of the girl's
hands her companion's face is lifted to the kiss. This naturalness
holds the secret of Rossetti's power. His art was consciously set on
decoration, but this is not a decoration; in all that he has read
into the miniature faces and in the embracing of the hands, we get in
this sketch more intimately than anywhere else evidence of his great
heart. This dramatic sympathy would attract every one could it shine
more often through the carelessness, the unhappiness, that at the end
obscured it. In this way we must think of Rossetti as a failure, and
a great man cannot fail once without blinding the world to his many
successes. Had Rossetti possessed no sense of colour, and had he not
completed many large pictures and elaborate illustrations, but only
followed this one path as far as he could go, doing only such things as
this, without being a poet and without being a painter, who knows to
what extent we should have praised him for these slighter things alone?
There is no doubt that we expect so much from him, and he has given us
so much in other ways, that we forget the treasures hidden here. One
could wish that he had always worked in his drawings with the freedom
indicated in this sketch, but it was not the fashion then. Work in
Rossetti's day had to come into the market elaborated to the point of
its soul's extinction in order to be taken seriously. Now that we have
taught ourselves always to value first any indication of the spirit,
what would we not give to possess ourselves of work by this artist in
impulsive drawings, and it must have been within Rossetti's power to do
them down to the last.

The drawing of the death of Lady Macbeth is one of the most wonderful
things Rossetti ever did, and it is characteristically marred by
imperfect drawing. The drawing is of great quality throughout, except
for the figure with head averted. Some wonder why the ability to make
the rest of the picture perfect failed the artist here. It is probably
because the action of each figure is controlled only by the imaginative
impulse that sways the whole composition, that gives to every part of
it dramatic intensity as if executed all in one mood, bringing in one
moment of creation the whole to life on paper. Those in sympathy with
the nature of Rossetti's art do not count this piece of bad drawing
a disastrous flaw. The rarity of genius makes them accept everything
gratefully; it disarms a cavilling attitude. The fault in their eyes
even seems to add to the tense note struck as a changed note in an
over sweet harmony. Its dissonance breaks the monotonous rhythmic
decoration, and its harshness relieves the detail so delicately
wrought. Rossetti is of the extreme few who have finished minutely
without sacrificing the qualities of greater significance than finish.
His art is great enough to make us forget the detail and to render
us for the time oblivious of it. In our absorption in the subject it
seems for a time not to exist, only the tense mood exists, the intense
moment. In a picture in which the moments are aflame with tragedy
Rossetti drew this figure moving slowly and with decorative convention.
All the figures are controlled by such a convention; they are partaking
in a high drama. Such a convention as Irving has in the art of acting
gives something to the dignity of tragedy. The conventions of Rossetti
too are so much in the spirit of high art, they conform so well to the
claims of art, that they lend beauty to that power of his of giving to
his drawings dramatic perfection. In regard to the particular figure
of which we write it is better, faulty as it is, than if it had been
redrawn in another mood and given again to the picture. It is to be
regretted, of course, that it did not come rightly as it is, but it is
less to be regretted than if he had substituted dead perfection for
living imperfection, a studied and acquired idea of the pose in place
of the instinctive one.

The first illustration for Desdemona's Death Song is simply a rough
sketch, but even taken as such it shows how blind or how careless in
the matter of form Rossetti at times could be. Here the lower part
of the figure is so obviously lacking in proportion that it prevents
us accepting an otherwise characteristic drawing as such. Still of
Rossetti's best moments is the controlling grace of the bend in the
maid's wrist, and the movement of her head as she combs Desdemona's
hair. The curtain blown into the room by the wind is one of those
touches Rossetti gives everywhere; by insistence on such an incident
he makes us live the moments depicted in his pictures--just as we find
ourselves in moments of extreme tension watching eagerly something
absolutely trivial and making some accident portent with meaning.

In the second and completer study for this picture we find the
proportions corrected; thought and after-thoughts have developed the
artist's intentions. Desdemona, with her hand hanging thoughtfully, is
an improvement on her attitude at first. The maid, however, has lost
much of the spontaneity of her original gestures.

Like all those in whose art we find phases of an extraordinary beauty
Rossetti could often draw in the most uninspired fashion, presumably
where his interest flagged. In the drawing of Hamlet and Ophelia,
Ophelia is charming; but it is with difficulty that we are reconciled
to the Hamlet; it is difficult even to understand in what position
the figure is standing; not that this indefiniteness often matters
in art, but here, where everything else is so precise, it provokes
dissatisfaction. From Rossetti alone could have come the background
with the winding ways parting and meeting rhythmically with steps up
to the bridge. Such architecture as this, and all the quaint furniture
in his pictures, were designed by himself. From his facile imagination
anything might come. Certain objects that were full of associations of
old things he returned to often in his drawings, such as old Books of
Hours with all the sentiment that many hands had given to them. The
niche in the picture containing the Crucifix and the Breviaries is
significant of the Religion in Rossetti's art. This was his religion,
to think of Divine things by the legends of a romantic Church.

In comparing the study for _Christ at the House of Simon the Pharisee_
with the completed drawing, the question arises whether, with the
elaboration that has come into the latter, some of the intensity of
the study has escaped; or whether, on the other hand, the subject has
gained. The simplicity of the first undoubtedly possesses something
which is subsequently lost in elaboration, and yet taking the completed
picture and looking into it one finds a lesson in Rossetti's methods.
We find that by dwelling upon his subject he has emphasised certain
notes, has repeated as it were a refrain, and made more spirited
and poetic in rendering the figure of the lover in the foreground.
After-thoughts have given every touch that could possibly enrich,
and, at the same time concentrate, dramatic motif in this figure. The
embroidery on his coat, the flowers in his hair, the hair itself, and
the face so mocking and fascinating and sure of itself, is more in the
spirit of the subject than the gentler face as it appears in the sketch.

The figure of the Magdalene gains in many ways as completed, and
though the distressed loving face and the flowing hair of the sketch
are changed, the alteration of the expression on the face from one of
intense distress to one of proud determination is very interesting
as showing how his subjects grew and changed under his hand. It is
wholly to the gain of the picture the different gesture which he has
arrived at in the second drawing, where the Magdalene with both hands
throws the flowers from her hair. The dramatic quality upon which we
have insisted as part of Rossetti's art is nowhere better shown than
in the deer quietly eating leaves from the wall, all unconscious that
there is acted out beside it the most pathetically beautiful drama of
the world. One misses in the finished picture some of the sensitive
drawing given in the sketch to the Magdalene's dress. Here, instead,
her clothes are as if she were perfectly still; they give no indication
of her movements and the stormy action round her. That is the fault
of Pre-Raphaelitism--to fritter away the spirit for the sake of the
embroidery upon the body's clothes; to lose emphasis in elaboration, to
sacrifice a greater beauty for a meaner one.

Certain characteristics that are strongest in Rossetti's art are
the outcome of the intensely human course his imagination took. His
drawings are of the kind that one can live with long; looking into
them often one is always rewarded by finding some new thing, and
one's thoughts are ever being arrested by new appreciation of some
quaint conceit. The depths of Rossetti's imagination are such in these
drawings that we may look into them whilst watching the changes of our
own thought.

The best that art has given to us has often come from artists in a
quite sub-conscious way. Because Rossetti's genius was so many-sided it
is probable that he could explain most of what he did to himself, and
if in the picture of which we have been speaking we take such a thing
as the alterations between the figures in the background, and as they
are shown in the sketch, it will seem apparent that he gave reasons
to himself for everything in his compositions, and did not drift into
anything by accident in aiming at design. In the sketch the nearest
figure pursues the Magdalene beckoning, in the finished drawing her
movements are arrested, she and the other figures pause before the
door, speechless with cynical amusement and surprise as the Magdalene
enters.

_You should have wept her yesterday_ was done as an illustration to
one of his sister's poems. It represents the return of the Prince
after many delays to find his lady has died, believing him unfaithful.
The ugly drawing of the Prince spoils an otherwise beautiful design.
This ugliness is only compensated for by the six girls who turn their
pitiful eyes so naturally from their prayer to look towards the Prince.
The grace of girlhood in their faces must come as a revelation to some
of Rossetti's critics.

The illustration to Tennyson's "Palace of Art" should excite us as
curious and beautiful. We have in it one great poet's illustration for
another's poem, made with perfect art. We have in this drawing the echo
of the one's imagination in the other. Rossetti has brought the drawing
on to the paper as a dream. An immense courage is demanded of the
artist, when he shall forget his reason for a dream, and when he has
the courage not to reconcile his dream with the demands of the prosaic
mind, demanding only what is prosaic. The lines illustrated are--

           in a clear-wall'd city on the sea,
      Near gilded organ-pipes, her hair
    Wound with white roses, slept St. Cecily
      An angel look'd at her.

The drawing interprets, and it is wonderful that it should do so, the
imaginative mood in which we feel these lines were written. Like music
they bring their message in mystical sound. One accepts their beauty
feverishly. In such a mood as they invite reason greets imagination.
The words do not represent things or a place, but a mood and an
emotion. In them is just such a strange and beautiful medley as music
brings to us, as great art always makes reasonable to us.

One thing we must not forget in criticising Rossetti, and that is
that we are speaking of one who was among the first to enter into the
inheritance of his age, that on these grounds his art is placed amongst
the arts which in every age live by reason of their significance.
Commemorated in Grecian art is the perfected form of man as the flower
of animal evolution. With this perfection attained another day of
creation was begun and is continued, in which the things of the spirit
are being built up until the perfect spirit is made. And just as it
was long before man so far awoke to a knowledge of the beauty which
triumphs in him as to worship his own shape (placing before himself
his own image as the standard to which the gods had led him, and from
which he might not go back without fear of their displeasure) so not
everywhere yet is the spirit of man learning its own beauty from the
consciousness of itself to which it has attained.

Such art as Rossetti's, with its subordination of everything to an
emotional and spiritual motive, does certainly anticipate, as other
modern work like the sculpture of Rodin anticipates, the direction
in which the greatness of art in the future must tend. That which is
concerned with character, with all that outwardly gives indication of
the soul, has appeared and re-appeared triumphantly throughout the
history of art--a spirit changing its raiment. The art of Rossetti
fails just in so far as its craftsmanship is a failure, but its
imperfections cannot take away its significance. Christianity made
the spirit visible and took serenity from the face of art. To-day Art
is spiritualising itself by its refinements. It is perfecting itself
through such an impressionism of the senses as we have in the art of
Whistler, and through the science of the impressionists of France.
Their subtleties are based on the broad truths given by masters
long ago, and fearful lest any sources of our inspiration should be
forgotten what is modern in art has in turn assumed almost every
antique shape.

An old manner of painting which was great, does not share its greatness
with the modern imitator, but it does not necessarily withhold it from
him. Art may clothe itself in some old style, as Rossetti's did, and
what shape it takes, whether based on the old or growing out of the
new, does not matter when it is the messenger of inward things.

And since no beauty of bodily form greater than Grecian beauty is
possible to art, that art will be great which betrays the spirit's
flame. The future of life and of art are one. It is inevitable that art
shall be great as the spirit of man grows rich. It is for this that we
have left behind the serenity which was of Greece and of the partly
awakened soul.

                     [Illustration]



                   ILLUSTRATIONS

       PERMANENT REPRODUCTIONS OF
       THE PICTURES AND STUDIES BY
       DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI, G.F. WATTS,
       O.M., R.A., AND SIR EDWARD BURNE-JONES
       ARE PUBLISHED BY FREDK. HOLLYER, 9
       PEMBROKE SQUARE, KENSINGTON, W.
       ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE 12 STAMPS

[Illustration:

  PLATE I
  LA DONNA DELLA FINESTRA     _Photo, Mansell_]


[Illustration:

  PLATE II
  ST. GEORGE     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE III
  ST. GEORGE     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE IV
  DANTIS AMOR     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE V
  LA GHIRLANDATA     _Photo, The Autotype Co._]

[Illustration:

  PLATE VI
  THE PRINCE'S PROGRESS     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE VII
  STUDY FOR THE SALUTATION     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE VII
  THE SANGRAAL     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE IX
  LA DONNA DELLA FIAMMA     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE X
  THE ROSELEAF     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XI
  HESTERNA ROSA     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XII
  STUDY FOR LA BELLA MANO     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XIII
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XIV
  STUDY FOR HEAD. DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XV
  STUDY FOR DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XVI
  STUDY FOR ASTARTE SYRIACA     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XVII
  MARY AT THE DOOR OF SIMON     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XVIII
  THE COUCH     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XIX
  STUDY FOR BEATRICE     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XX
  SKETCH OF MISS SIDDAL     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXI
  RICORDITI DI ME CHE SON LA PIA     _Photo, Caswall Smith_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXII
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXIII
  CHRISTINA ROSSETTI     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXIV
  CASSANDRA     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXV
  LADY WITH A FAN     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXVI
  PANDORA     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXVII
  ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXVIII
  THE PALACE OF ART     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXIX
  LACHESIS     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXX
  HAMLET AND OPHELIA     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXI
  VENUS VERTICORDIA     _Photo, Caswall Smith_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXII
  FORD MADOX BROWN     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXIII
  MISS SIDDAL     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXIV
  DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXV
  STUDY FOR QUEEN GUINEVERE     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXVI
  STUDY FOR DESDEMONA'S DEATH SONG     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXVII
  SIR LAUNCELOT IN THE QUEEN'S CHAMBER     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXVIII
  STUDY FOR LA DONNA DELLA FINESTRA     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XXXIX
  STUDY FOR DANTE'S DREAM     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XL
  THE GATE OF MEMORY     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLI
  STUDY FOR THE BLESSED DAMOZEL     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLII
  HOW THEY MET THEMSELVES     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLIII
  THE LADY OF THE GOLDEN CHAIN     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLIV
  THE DEATH OF LADY MACBETH     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLV
  MRS. WILLIAM MORRIS     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLVI
  STUDY FOR DANTE     _Photo, Hollyer_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLVII
  DESIGN FOR A BALLAD     _Photo, Mansell_]

[Illustration:

  PLATE XLVIII
  THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD     _Photo, Mansell_]





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