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Dante Rossetti

POSTCARDS FROM THE PRE-RAPHAELITES

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!)

POSTCARDS FROM CASCADE

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

Was he flirting or simply making a statement? Something was happening and she wasn’t sure it was real.

–From CASCADE

The characters are talking about Beata Beatrix, by Dante Rossetti (1870), which Jacob has seen in London. The TATE owns it still.