In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement by Metropolitan Museum of Art

By Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Yet kick the dog is, in its way, wilful; empty/headed the motif of the leg stretched out to realistic, yet contrived. The casual 35 16 1 6 JOHN EVERETT MiLLAis Isabella 1849 a^^ 5 JOHN EVERETT MILLAIS grace with which Study foY 'Isabella Isabella fondles the 1849 dog contrasts with her heavily symbolic acceptance of half a blood orange from Lorenzo. minutely worked detail jars And the with a strange unreality of design. Millais ignored plenty of precedents for his picture, for thirteen people round a table equals a Last Supper, been likely to and no Academy^trained artist would have as this one.

It is is not realistic, for the remarkable about it ineptitude of its execution precludes the fascination with emblematic is heavily loaded with symbolic meaning, carefully explained by Rossetti in a brace of sonnets that were Thus, the books represent the virtues, to be attached to the frame. lily innocence, *the sevens thorned briar and the palm seven^leaved' are the Virgin's *great sorrow and her great reward', Stylistically, simple-minded parts played tion and so on. The Girlhood of Mary Virgin originality, in which it is is composed with a kind of difficult to distinguish the by calculation and by sheer lack of ability.

Student for some years. In 1847 both Rossetti and Hunt had been impressed by his unimpressive The Charity Boy's Dehut. cation for his going his marry Rossetti's to own membership was friend Frederick 32 These seven it A more important seemed very likely that qualifi^ he was Christina. A. Antique School. He had never members completed the Brotherhood. not progressed beyond the a picture. sister that had painted There and society, The name they gave their or less take his pick between them. are differing accounts of the origin of the more the historian can ^Brotherhood' part was almost certainly Rossetti's.

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