Exhibition of Dante Gabriel Rossetti works involving model Jane Morris being showcased at William Morris Gallery

Painting La Donna della Finestra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1871 (credit: Bradford Museum and Gallery)

Painting La Donna della Finestra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1871 (credit: Bradford Museum and Gallery)

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

An exhibition exploring a London-born artist's obsession with painting model Jane Morris has arrived at the gallery in honour of her husband.

The rare artworks of painting and drawings by Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founder Dante Gabriel Rossetti will be showcased at the William Morris Gallery in Forest Road, Walthamstow, from October 4 until January next year. 

Rossetti's secret society of young English artists established in 1848, rebelled against the Royal Academy's promotion and ideals of Renaissance master Raphael and became close friends with William Morris. 

The touring exhibition will depict Dante, the son of an Italian political refugee's obsession with Mrs Morris on the centenary of her death. 

His fixation meant Mrs Morris's face became the iconic image of Pre-Raphaelite womanhood. 

Mrs Morris, a talented embroider and influential linguist and musician, was said to have played a key role in the family decorative art manufacturing and retail business - Morris & Co.   

As his favoured model, Mrs Morris was casted in many literary and mythological roles including Dante's famous Alighieri's Beatrice, Pandora, Proserpine and Astarte.

Besides the display of rarely seen drawings, 'Rossetti's Obsession: Images of Jane Morris’ will also explore her personal life and interest beyond modelling. 

Council leader Chris Robbins said: "We’re thrilled to be hosting this important exhibition, which offers a unique opportunity to see works that have rarely been displayed in public. 

"Together they give us a fascinating insight into the role Jane Morris played in Rossetti’s artistic and personal life, as well as a greater understanding of her own character and achievements."

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