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I’m in Washington doing some research on my new book and it was a bit uncanny to walk into the National Gallery of Art and see a big Pre-Raphaelite show going on. I wrote about some of these paintings in Cascade, and had tried to see them in London the last two times I was there, but the Tate didn’t have them on display. Here they were, without my even knowing! This cover on the book of postcards the NGA is selling is the Dante Rossetti painting that Dez and Jacob talk about:

     “You know,” Dez said, “the only Rossetti painting I can clearly see in my mind’s eye at the moment is one of a redhead combing her hair, and she was frightening-looking, as I recall.”
     “Lady Lilith. His wife didn’t model for that. His mistress did. That’s another whole story.”

Earlier, Jacob remarked that he had seen Rossetti’s Beata Beatrix (below) in London, and that his memory of it reminded him of Dez.

    “It’s a stunning painting, in person,” he said. “It glows. Beatrice glows. I couldn’t take my eyes off it.”

 –From Cascade

At the National Gallery of Art, west building, on view until May 19 (my birthday!)


  • Sally says:

    I see what Jacob means by Beatrice ‘glowing’. In this painting the light source is behind her but her face is still in some light. It made me check out ‘the Girl with the pearl earring’ as I always loved the ‘glow’ on her face although you do not ‘see’ the light souce just assume it is coming from the left of painting. Lucky you MaryAnne just bumping into that art show!……..Sally

    • Maryanne says:

      I hadn’t meant to publish the post yet, and suddenly I saw a comment! I’m using a tiny computer and my fingers are all fumbly. Yes, I felt extraordinarily lucky to bump into the show. It’s actually in the same space where, in 1995, that wonderful gathering of the few Vermeers in the world was displayed. I saw that show twice, and couldn’t get enough of it–the pearl earring, the geographer, and my favorite, “Woman Holding a Balance,” which the NGA does own and which I posted on my FB Author Page today. 🙂

  • M.J. Rose says:

    Those are among my favorite painters! I saw many of them in London but can never get enough of them. Another connection:)

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