Visual Arts: WAKING DREAMS Nottingham Castle NOTTINGHAM HHH
Koenig, Rhoda, The Independent (London, England)
A hot, heavy atmosphere at this Pre-Raphaelite exhibition seeps from the portraits of haughty, self-absorbed temptresses in airless, velvet- hung rooms, from portrayals of the dying and the dead. Those who think the brotherhood sickly or laughable will find plenty of support in these gloomy females built like goitrous dinosaurs, in the unintentional comedy wrought by time (one of them, holding aloft a lamp that would have been right at home in phallic-worshipping Pompeii, looks like a poster girl for Ann Summers).
The Delaware Art Museum collection, however " most of it acquired by Samuel Bancroft, an American whose father's fortune came from the Manchester mills " gives the faithful a chance to wallow happily in Victorian languor. Bancroft's favourite painter was Rossetti, and he bought several major beauties, including Lady Lilith. Gazing into her mirror with the cool, appraising look she might fix on her next victim, this femme fatale lazily runs a comb through an ocean of copper-coloured waves, a poppy at her left hand and likewise poisonous foxgloves at her right. The frame carries Rossetti's poem about a youth ensnared by Lilith, who was found with his neck broken 'and round his heart one strangling golden hair'.
The show also includes Found, Rossetti's one depiction of contemporary working-class life, in which a London prostitute sinks to her knees, her face averted from the drover, a man from …
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Publication information: Article title: Visual Arts: WAKING DREAMS Nottingham Castle NOTTINGHAM HHH. Contributors: Koenig, Rhoda - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: July 7, 2005. Page number: 54. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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