Detail of painted portrait of Jane Morris

Rossetti's Obsession

Images of Jane Morris


4 October 2014 to 4 January 2015

  • Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm; free

Jane Morris (née Burden) was the wife of William Morris, and the favoured model of Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In his maturity Rossetti drew and painted Jane with an obsessional intensity and she was cast in many literary and mythological roles, including Dante's Beatrice, Pandora, Proserpine and Astarte.
Whether in direct or symbolic guise, Jane's features are depicted with a sombre intensity that offer a glimpse into Rossetti's troubled soul. The exhibition, marking the centenary of Jane's death, brings together compelling and rarely seen drawings and pastel studies of Jane by Rossetti. The exhibition also features images of Jane as herself and explores her life and interests beyond modelling.
Jane Morris (1839-1914) was a talented embroiderer, linguist and musician and played a role in the family business Morris & Co. The recent publication of her letters (The Collected Letters of Jane Morris, edited by Jan Marsh and Frank C. Sharp, 2012), gives an unparalleled insight into her interests and personality, balancing the sullen and silent impression that Rossetti's paintings have immortalised.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was the leading member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His depictions of Jane ensured that her face became the iconic image of Pre-Raphaelite womanhood.
A touring exhibition in partnership with Bradford Museums and Galleries.
The exhibition is kindly supported by Farrow & Ball's Islington Showroom

Related events

Friends' Talk: Pre-Raphaelite Women, 22 October

Curatorial tour: Rossetti's Obsession, 30 October

WMG Late: Obsession, 6 November