Artwork featuring Elizabeth Siddal

A later version of Beata Beatrix

beata-beatrix_1863-70_.jpgHere is a later version of Beata Beatrix, painted in 1870. Lets compare it to the earlier version we’ve discussed. It is certainly more “glamorized”. Any thoughts?

5 Replies to “A later version of Beata Beatrix”

  1. Is it me, or does her facial expression seem different?

    And did Rossetti repaint it because he wanted to? Or for financial reasons? Yes the neck and the lips seem quite similar to his Jane Morris paintings. Perhaps he is morphing the two together?

  2. Yes, the “morphing” appears to have begun in this rendition. I find the open mouth and the ecstatic expression much more sensual than spiritually fervent (believed to be the original concept). The final version (I think it was the final) – the one on the cover of Lucinda Hawksley’s book – looks much more like Janey than Lizzie. All, or at least several, renditions can be found at the Rossetti Archive site.

  3. Also in reply to Sal’s post, reason number 2 is probably correct. I remember reading that one of Rossetti’s patrons (can’t recall who just now) fell in love with the original Beata Beatrix and asked for a copy.

  4. First thing that stands out: the mouth! Check out those bow lips…very similar to how he painted Jane Morris’s lips in several paintings. And everything in the painting is more vivid. The colors, the figures in the background…and the sundial, all more clearly seen. More detail, more vivid in color.

  5. I believe I saw a version of this painting at the art institute of chicago today in an exhibit of edvard munch’s works and related paintings. one description on this site mentions that the two figures are of love and death : the one on the right looks like dante to me, holding a book? It also appears that there is a dark wood (selva oscura) behind him on the right and a water well behind him on the left. there is a masonry wall separating beatrice from the background, and there is another wall between the figures of death/love and the furthermost background which appears to be a bridge over water in front of a pyramid and possibly a distant city. As mentioned the sundial on the wall separating beatrice from death and love is pointing to nine, why is it this number? a dove can symbolize hope and peace especially when carrying a branch (as with an olive branch to noah), but with the branch being a mixed symbol of beauty (flower) and danger (narcotic) the color of the haloed dove seems significant. Any help in deciphering these symbols would be appreciated. thank you very much.

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