Monday, June 29, 2009

Desperate Romantics

At long last, some additional news has broken about the BBC television adaptation of Franny Moyle's Pre-Raphaelite potboiler, Desperate Romantics. After months with no news, cyberspace finally has a fresh injection of stories about the much-anticipated series.

One of the more interesting articles I came across was Rapid Talent's interview with Samuel Barnett, who will be playing John Everett Millais. Barnett describes getting acquainted with his character through field trips to the National Gallery:

"I like all sorts of art, that's why I love wandering around The National Gallery. I really admire paintings that look like an actual snapshot – I think that's just extraordinary. That's what's so special about Millais: flesh – people's actual skin – looks real, for example in The Order Of Release and Christ In The House Of His Parents; it's photographic, it doesn't matter how close you get to the painting, you don't see the brushwork. With Millais's paintings it's microscopic; when he does hair it's extraordinary, you can see every strand. His paintings are my favourites – not just because I'm playing him – I think he's the best artist of the group, technically and also emotionally."

I would have to agree, though, as you all know, I have a great appreciation for Burne-Jones and Rossetti as well.

Although I'm a little disappointed that the BBC feels it's necessary to portray the Pre-Raphaelites as prototypes for modern models and rock stars, I suppose it makes it makes sense from a marketing perspective. And, in all honesty, I must admit that I was always drawn to that aspect of their story. As Barnett points out, the Pre-Raphaelites came on the scene just as the public was gaining greater access print publications than ever before:

"You don't have to know anything about the period or the artists; it's a human story and a 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll' story as well: this was the period when supermodels and celebrity was born. The use of the printing press meant everyone, nationally and internationally, could see these guys' paintings and the models they used, that was a first – art had never had exposure like that before."

You can read the full story at Rapid Talent UK.

Also, special thanks to Grace at The Beautiful Necessity for bringing to my attention the fact that news stories about Desperate Romantics are finally starting to get out!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pre-Raphaelite Art at the Delaware Art Museum

I'm always on the lookout for great Pre-Raphaelite art online, and yesterday I came across the Delaware Art Museum's fabulous Pre-Raphaelite art gallery, which features the collection of Samuel and Mary Bancroft. The Delaware Art Museum has the largest permanent collection of Pre-Raphaelite works in the United States. The museum maintains their collection through the generous support of the aptly-named "Rossetti Circle" of art patrons. I would definitely join if I lived anywhere near Delaware! Anyway, it's a lovely, well put together website with an extensive collection of photos of Pre-Raphaelite art and art objects. I highly recommend taking a moment to enjoy what they have to offer.

I was particularly impressed by the Delaware Art Museum's education packet on the art of the Pre-Raphaelites. It's available for download here. This curriculum package covers the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement, The Aesthetic Movement--and pretty much everything else that is important to the study of Pre-Raphaelite Art. It's one of the best resources of it's kind that I have come across, and far superior to many books that I've read on the subject! If you are looking for some more information on the topic of the Pre-Raphaelites, it's definitely a great place to start.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Forbes Family to Sell Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces

Mirror of Venus
If the Forbes family is reduced to selling off their priceles Pre-Raphaelite treasures, what does that mean for the rest of us?

The family is in the process of selling a trove of art treasures from their London home for an estimated £5million. The collection included several pieces by prominent Pre-Raphaelites Sir Edward Burne Jones and Sir John Everett Millais. Two of Millais' paintings, 'For The Squire' and 'Trust Me,' were on sale for £850,000.00 each, while Sir Edward Burne-Jones' spectacular 'Mirror Of Venus'(shown above) was on offer for $500,000.

Read more at The Evening Standard.
Image courtesy Wikimedia commons

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Earthly Paradise is on Twitter!

I'm now on twitter! My user name is: margaretlozano

You all may have noticed that my posts have become less frequent since work has become busier. I'm hoping that twitter will give me a chance to communicate on a daily basis with you all!

For those of you who are much earlier adapters of twitter, please let me know your user names, and I'll be sure to add you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

John William Waterhouse Exhibit in Montreal

The Montreal Museum of Fine Art has just announced an exhibit of John William Waterhouse's work, set to open this fall.

The exhibit will run from October 1, 2009 through to February 7, 2010. The show was organized by the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, with participation from the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It is expected to be the largest collection of his work ever on display, with paintings gathered from public and private collections across the globe. A number of the works have not been seen since Waterhouse's own lifetime.

I've been so excited by the recent increase in Canadian exhibits focusing on Pre-Raphaelite and Pre-Raphaelite related artists. Now, if only they'd do one in Edmonton! (Perhaps when our new Edmonton art gallery opens?).

For those of you living in the UK (or lucky summertime visitors), the exhibit can be seen at London's Royal Academy of Arts from June 27 - September 13, 2009.

Image: Penelope and the Suitors, John William Waterhouse, 1912

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Utero Beauty Pageant

Well, the past couple of weeks has just flown by! It's finally spring in Edmonton, and I am really enjoying going outside without a woolen overcoat (although nighttime temperatures still hover around freezing). My husband and I have been keeping busy with soccer matches and barbecues and revelling in the sunshine.

We had the big 19 week ultrasound last week, which was extremely exciting (albeit a bit uncomfortable--it's getting more difficult to drink all that water two hours before an exam). The baby is lovely. We already think she'll have her father's high cheekbones, thanks to a sneak peek at one of the 3D images. It's still a little strange to me to have all of these pictures. When I was a kid they didn't even do ultrasounds, although we do have an ultrasound of my little sister--I think they must have started doing them more regularly in the mid-eighties.

So, for the past week or so, I must confess that I've been comparing our baby's ultrasound photos to those of my friends' kids' ultrasounds, courtesy of facebook (everyone seems to post their ultrasound photos there). Of course, it may not have even been born yet, but our baby is by far the cutest.

I wonder if this sort of thing is common now? It has a sort of playground quality to it--you know, my blob is cuter than your blob? I guess that's something we never grow out of. Poor child, it hasn't even been born yet, and we're already trying to figure out what it's going to look like. Obviously, this wasn't really possible a few years ago. My baby sister's 2D ultrasound from back in the 80s is kind of a blur, but all of the images today seem so much clearer, whether 2 or 3D.

Now the attempt to rationalize my obsession with our unborn child's looks: I suppose that when you think about it, this must be something we do subconsciously before we even choose to have children. My mom's pet theory is that we are all subconsciously trying to improve our DNA, and we seek out partners that will fill the gaps so that our kids will be healthier and better looking. It's just one piece of the puzzle, but I must admit that it makes sense to me.

Anyway, we are in love with our little baby, no matter what it looks like, and I must say that I'm getting very excited to meet it!