shopify site analytics

Help The Lady of Shalott film be released online for free

The Lady of Shalott film is one of the most beautiful projects I have ever seen.  On an aesthetic level, it encompasses everything I love:  diligence to history and craftsmanship, the poetry of Tennyson, and a lush, cinematic quality that allows you to briefly be cocooned into the medieval world of Elaine of Astolat.  On a personal level, I consider the makers of the film to be wonderful friends who were quite kind to me last year after my husband endured a horrific accident.

The Lady of Shalott film has announced that when they reach 1500 ‘likes’ on their facebook page, they will release the film online for free.  So, please, like them on facebook.  Tweet and blog their link for your friends to see.  Because if you haven’t seen it yet, you are going to love their Lady of Shalott!

The Lady of Shalott Film Facebook Page

WAG Screen, the makers of the film

The making of the costumes at Period Wardrobe by Pauline Loven

Artist paints Ophelia using bacteria

In a highly original and unique project, artist Jo Wonder recreates Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais using bacteria as a medium.  The video is incredibly moving and includes voice mails and messages left for Ophelia. “I like the idea of Ophelia being a beauty but made up of something that we think is disgusting. But we shouldn’t really be thinking it’s disgusting because in fact, roughly nine out of 10 cells in our body are actually bacteria and our bodies are also made up of roughly 60% water, as Ophelia lies in the lake dying she may be feeling fantastic as her body rejoins the earth.”

The section enclosed includes poems submitted by children, strangers and Kim Morrissey whose works often examine the role of women in nineteenth century culture.Bacillus Mycoides and other bacteria were used to depict Ophelia’s soul and breath in the animated painting.

Submit your own poetry/dedications to Ophelia by voice mail to complete this art installation.

Please participate in this project by leaving a poem to Ophelia on her voice mail at +44 (0) 2071839366 (standard land line Uk rates in the UK).

Related links:  Under the Microscope

6 Days goodbye poems for Ophelia

Retired teacher pinpoints where Millais painted Ophelia

Image via

Barbara Webb has narrowed down the location where Millais sat to paint the background to Ophelia.    Ophelia is not only one of the artist’s most famous works, it is also one of the most recognizable images of Elizabeth Siddal.  Read the entire article at

For more on Elizabeth Siddal as Ophelia, visit the Ophelia page.

W.M. Rossetti article from The Guardian Archives:

Thank you to Cathy Baker of Gather Ye Rosebuds while ye may for bringing this to my attention.

Originally published in Manchester Guardian on 29 March 1904.   William Michael Rossetti starts off with the intention of setting the record straight that John Ruskin did not “set Pre-Raphaelitism going”.   Excerpt below, click here to read the entire article.

It is quite a mistake to suppose that Ruskin set Pre-Raphaelitism going. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in the early autumn of 1848. I need only mention three of the members – Millais, Holman Hunt, and my brother, Dante Rossetti. I am sure neither Millais nor Rossetti had in 1848 any acquaintance with Ruskin’s books. Holman Hunt may perhaps have known something, but if there was one young man in the painting profession resolutely disposed to act upon his own perceptions and views, and not upon those of other people, that man was Holman Hunt.

William Michael Rossetti

John Ruskin

New article in the Spectator on Barbara Bodichon and her circle, including Elizabeth Siddal

A new article in the Spectator explores Barbara Leigh Smith, later Bodichon.  Written by Charlotte Moore,  this charming piece introduces us to her ‘Aunt Barbara’, whose circle of friends included many famous Victorians.   I recently saw the sketch that Barbara made of Elizabeth Siddal in The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites by Elizabeth Prettejohn.  The sketch, currently owned by Mark Samuels Lasner, shows Lizzie posing with irises in her hair while Lizzie posed for Bodichon, Anna Mary Howitt, and Rossetti.

Via The Spectator, please click to read entire article:

Aunt Barbara’s fireplace:

‘Dante Rossetti is my favourite of the young men [the Pre-Raphaelites],’ Barbara told Bessie Parkes, but she was even more interested in the artistic talent of Lizzie Siddal, Rossetti’s muse and mistress, declaring her ‘a genius’. She saw that tuberculosis would soon finish Lizzie — ‘Rossetti is like a child, he cannot believe she is in danger’ — and invited the couple to Sussex, hoping that country air would help. She, Rossetti, and Anna Mary Howitt, another artist friend, sketched Lizzie with irises in her hair.

In 1870, eight years after Lizzie’s death, Rossetti exhumed the poems he had buried with her. Now in love with William Morris’s wife Janey, and hooked on chloral hydrate, Rossetti was approaching a breakdown. Barbara invited him to recuperate at Scalands. ‘Barbara does not indulge in bell-pulls, hardly in servants to summon thereby,’ he wrote to the poet William Allingham, another signatory, ‘what she does affect is any amount of through draught.’ His jaunty tone belies the tension in the house. The Morrises came to stay. Rossetti persuaded William to return to town leaving Janey behind, so Scalands became the setting for another doomed tryst.

Commemoration of Siddal and Rossetti’s marriage

Via Hasting’s Art Forum:  150 years ago on May 23rd 1860 the Pre Raphaelite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti married his lover and model Lizzie Siddal in St. Clements Church Hastings. Lizzie later became a fine artist and poet in her own right. Sadly just two years later she died. To commemorate the wedding there will be an exhibition by local artists in St Clements Church from 10.00am until 4.00pm daily from Sunday 23rd – Monday 31st May. Exhibiting artists include Ron Nicola, Jane Marriner, Mike Williams, Alan Wright, Simon Hookey, Bruce Williams and Beth Boorman. Exhibits include paintings, stained glass, photography and wood carving. Local children will also exhibit. The works of art already in the church will also be on display including the brasses (which are usually covered) and the Sanctuary Light given to commemorate the wedding. On the evening of Saturday May 22nd there will be a concert of song and prose inspired by the Pre Raphaelites given by Susannah Appleyard and members of the Hastings Arts Forum poetry group. On Sunday May 23rd there will be a sung evensong at 7.00pm to commemorate the anniversary itself. Sitters are also needed to look after the exhibition so we can keep it open all week. Contact Keith Leech on 01424 716576 or
[Keith Leech]

Link: Period Clothes

Enter the world of period costumier Pauline Loven through her new blog Periodwardrobe.  Pauline has has created costumes for television and for museum films and displays and also costumed and co-produced The Luttrell Psalter Film, The Lady of Shalott and Life on Church Farm films.

I love reading about the process of Pauline’s work.  She’s methodical and pays attention to history, fabric, and details.  And when she has a work of art at the center of her project, her handiwork results in what seems to be a magical transformation of a two-dimensional image into a stunningly perfect copy.

It’s a new blog and I’m thrilled to welcome Pauline to the blogging world:  Here’s her post about creating 1930’s clothes for the iconic painting American Gothic. And her post about recreating Mona Lisa’s clothes give you a sense of how involved her work is.
Her work on both of those projects can be seen here:

Lizzie on the big screen

I was watching Possession on DVD, when I saw one of my favorite drawings of Lizzie on the wall:

I’ve written a post about this and a few other sitings at, if you care to see more sitings from other DVDs.