Fausta's blog

Faustam fortuna adiuvat
The official blog of Fausta's Blog Talk Radio show.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Puerto Rican Pre-Raphaelites, and other Sunday items

The Telegraph has an interesting article about how a lot of Victorian and Eduardian paintings made it to Puerto Rico:
Pre-Raphaelites from Puerto Rico
On the day before he died of a heart attack in 1898, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones was busy at work on The Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, a massive oil painting inspired by Malory in which a mortally wounded King Arthur is laid out on a bier.

The artist had been working for 17 years on his unfinished magnum opus, which had been commissioned in 1881 by George Howard, later ninth Earl of Carlisle, for the library at Naworth Castle in Cumberland.

But that was not where the painting ended up. For the past 45 years, the 21ft by 9ft canvas has hung in an obscure museum in the crumbling colonial town of Ponce on the south coast of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
The last time I was in Ponce it wasn't crumbling, and this is what the Museo looks like. The museum is closed for repairs, which is why the paintings are on loan to the Tate in London.

The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon is a huge canvas, and when I lived in Puerto Rico I spent a lot of time enjoying its details. This (and The Avengers) was the start of my Anglophilia. After I had moved away from Puerto Rico, graduated from college and started working, one day I decided I would study one art movement in detail and chose the Pre-Raphaelites which - as far as art movements go - were a small group. I spent my first trip to England visiting the Tate, Lord Leighton's house and other locales related to the Pre-Raphaelites.

Of course some of their stuff is best described as "Victorian monstruosities", but that only adds to the fun.

I have forgotten most of what I studied then. Time flew while I was having fun, for sure.

While not a Pre-Raphaelite, Lord Leighton's masterpiece Flaming June was also exhibited in the same room at the Museo de Ponce. Unfortunately the drama of the painting is greatly reduced by photography and by not showing it framed. Frames are an important element in Victorian and Eduardian painting, especially in the case of the Pre-Raphaelites who included some of their poetry in the frame. They in turn inspired William Morris, the creator of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The Puerto Rican Pre-Raphaelites will be in loan to the Tate in London until February next year.

The WSJ's Five Best Books, on New York society, selected by Frances Kiernan:

(As a side note, when entering "Washington Square" in the Amazon search, it yielded "Good In Bed", not quite what one expects.)

Today's shoes:
Ralph Lauren Women's Nadine Wedge Pump in navy,


Pat has the Carnival of the Insanities. Go check it out.

More blogging later.


Share on Facebook

Labels: , , , ,


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the pre-Raphaelites and the arts and Crafts movement too.

BBC World's Imagine series is showing an episode on Botticelli's Primavera this weekend. It talks in part about the painting's relatioship to the pre-Raphaelites. I thoroughly enjoyed the show.


At 10:11 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

The real questions must be, Tara King vs. Mrs. Peel or Catherine Gale vs. Purdey?

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Fausta said...

Expat, I'll have to look it up.

Pat, not sure about those matches, but Mrs. Peel above all!

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Linda Thorson vs. Diana Rigg and Honor Blackmum vs. Joanna Lumley. Honor Blackmum was the first female lead in Avengers, when Steed was the assistant to the male lead, and then left to be Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, Diana Rigg replaced her and she in turn was replaced by the Canadian actress Linda Thorson, and finally in The New Avengers Joanna Lumley portrayed the kung fu chick!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home