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Dante Gabriel

United Kingdom 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English Dante Gabriel Rossetti; May 12, 1828, London - April 9, 1882, Birchington) - English poet, translator, painter and graphic artist, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the object of passionate worship and imitation for the younger generation of followers.

Features creativity Dante Gabriel Rossetti: periods of creativity Rossetti is determined not by the technical features of painting, but by the women who posed for him. The artist was passionately fond of each of them and frantically wrote: Elisabett Siddal, Fanny Cornforth, Jane Morris, Alex Wilding. Moreover, all Rossetti women are somewhat similar: golden hair, sensual full lips, heavy chin, delineated cheekbones. Like all members of the Brotherhood, he asked to pose for friends, acquaintances, relatives, mistresses for paintings on literary, biblical and mythological subjects. But, unlike his like-minded people, he was never fond of accurate botanical sketches and landscapes. Rossetti was a brilliant colorist and an accurate schedule, but he had difficulty building a complex perspective.

Famous paintings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Annunciation", "A dream in reality", "Proserpine", "Blessed Beatrice", "Lady Lilith","How they met themselves."

Dante's brother Gabriel Rossetti was his biographer and publisher of letters. And in the book of memoirs about the artist William Michael Rossetti wrote: “Once he told me - it was about 1857 or a bit later -“ as soon as something is charged to me in duty, my ability to do it disappears. I can't do what I have to do. ” It became the very essence of his character and the truth about his whole life. ”. Rossetti was a temperamental, hot-tempered, independent, quickly addicting, insightful, extravagant, long-haired, non-conformist Italian in the prim, puritanical, academic England of the time of Queen Victoria. He threw a prestigious college, and then translated into Dante's English, he fled from the Royal Academy of Art, and then successfully sold the paintings and made several copies of the most popular subjects. He lived 10 years with the most beautiful model and talented artist, but he married her just before the death of a girl. Rossetti with all the passion did what he loved, and physically could not do what should.

Unable to learn

In the house of Rossetti, all four children studied from birth, simply listening to the conversations of adults and their guests, of whom there were always many in the house. Political refugee Gabriel Rossetti arrived in London in 1825. After the Austrian troops put down a rebellion in Naples, he was forced to flee to Malta, and then to England. At home, Rossetti Sr. was the caretaker of the ancient department of the Neapolitan Museum and a fairly well-known poet. Upon arrival in London, he began to teach Italian at the Royal College and in his spare time writing literary studies of Dante's works. When Gabriel first set foot on English soil, he was 42 years old, but he was able to build his life in a new country and find a safe place under the mean English sun. A year later, he married 23-year-old Francis Mary Lavigne Polidori, and in the next 4 years, four of their children were born one after another.

Rosseti have never been rich. The most luxurious holiday for children was a trip to Polidori's grandparents, in a mansion in the English countryside of the wilderness. The boys basked in the sun, lay in the grass and entertained themselves by catching frogs in the local pond and let them go back, and in the evenings they read and discussed knightly novels, which were many in the grandfather’s library. In the working shed with carpentry tools, grandfather Polidori kept the printing press - and promised to print the first book that any of his grandchildren would write. When Dante Gabriel Rossetti was 14, he was honored with this honor.

In the parental home, in London, they took the same political Italian émigrés and read literature more seriously - Keats, Byron, Coleridge, Shakespeare and, of course, Dante, after whom they named their eldest son. But when his son became seriously interested in literature, began writing sonnets and decided to abandon drawing exercises, the elder Rossetti enlightened him - the boy clearly demonstrated his artistic talent, and it was up to drawing that that time to be spent most of the time.

His father talked to his children in Italian, his mother in English, at King's College, where Dante studied for 5 years, he learned French, Latin, and German decently. He wrote poems, wore a shirt unbuttoned, worn-out shoes and long black curls, and to the question of the teacher of the ancient classes of the Royal Academy of Arts about the missed lesson carelessly answered: "I had a fit of idleness". Dante entered the academy at 18, and by the age of 20 he had already abandoned her, because it was boring there, and he found a real teacher.

Ford Madox Brownthere were only 27 when he received an enthusiastic letter from the 20-year-old Rossetti asking him to take him as his student. Brown decided that it was someone's evil joke, but when he met Dante, he immediately suggested that he share the studio for two, attend the evening sketches of full-scale sketches with him and teach everyone for free that he knows himself. Brown and Rossetti remained friends for the rest of their lives.

Unable to marry

Impulsive, educated, sincere, fearless handsome Rossetti conquered others. He always had many friends and lovers. But among all the people with whom the artist was close, several played a crucial role in his life. Meeting withHolman Hunt andBy John Evette Millet became decisive in his artistic career, and the meeting with the hat shop saleswomanElizabeth Siddal - the most important in his life.

On December 31, 1848, the first meeting of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood took place in the house of John Everett Millet. All three - Hunt, Millet and Rossetti - were in fact still young boys who had read the legends about King Arthur, popular in those years, and who dreamed of great feats. The secret sign “PRB” in the pictures, the desire to unfold the history of art from a boring knurled road, the willingness to freeze for half a year on the bank of a rural river for the botanical accuracy of the landscape and, of course, the search for flawless female beauty without regard to social conventions. They were ready to write the Virgin Mary from a prostitute, and the Shakespearean heroine - from a seamstress. The next time they asked to pose for a sister or mother, and then - a mistress. Like real knights, the pre-Raphaelites were convinced that the formula for success was to find the lady of the heart (the ideal model) and in a fierce fight to defeat the enemy (academic art). Fortunately, these boys were brilliantly armed: everyone in the arsenal had talent and youthful faith in future glory and recognition.

Rossetti learned about the beautiful red-haired saleswoman from the hat shop Elizabeth Siddal from the artist Walter Deverell. He ran into their common workshop with Hunt - and said that he had found the treasure. Lizzy will pose for deverella for "The Twelfth Night", Khantu - for "Valentine saves Sylvia from Proteus"Millet - for Opheliabefore it becomes undivided love, obsessive passion, brand name and endless inspiration for Rossetti. Very quickly they began to live together - and in the artistic evening disputes over a bottle of wine, in the late morning waking up, in the daytime excited creative quest, Lizzy felt out of place. She began to learn to draw - and so quickly achieved brilliant results that the art critic and patron of the Pre-RaphaelitesJohn Ruskin appointed her personal scholarship in exchange for all the work that will come out from under her hands. And Rossetti, in which, judging by Lizzy's successes, such an unexpected pedagogical gift was revealed, offered to teach drawing lessons for workers at a free college.

“Without a doubt, she is amazing. Rossetti once told me that when he first saw her, he felt that his fate was determined. Why doesn't he marry her? ” - recorded in the diary Ford Madox Brown after three years of living together Dante and Lizzy. This question was asked by all who saw them together. The girl was painful, and after extreme sessions of posing for Ophelia Millet, when she had to lie in a bath for several hours, she almost fell into the world, and so did not completely get rid of lung disease. Rossetti lived with Siddal for 10 years - and decided to go to the wedding only in a fit of pity, tenderness and remorse: she was seriously ill and could not survive the next attack. After a honeymoon in Paris, Elizabeth unexpectedly recovered and seemed to have not been so strong and full of strength for a long time. But a year later she lost the child - and everything got worse. Diseases returned, new pains and attacks of nervous breakdown were added to them, which were usually treated with opium tincture. A year later, she took a lethal dose of her medication - and did not recover herself. Rossetti, who returned home from classes at Workman’s College late in the evening, found Lizzy unconscious. During the night, he called four different doctors, refusing to believe that it was impossible to save her. By morning his wife died.

In the coffin Lizzy Rossetti put a notebook with poems written over the past 10 years. He believed that without it he could not write or draw all that has been done during this time. So, all this belongs to her completely. Soon he will change his mind.

Unable to live

After the death of his wife, Rossetti moved to a new home in Cheney Walk in the artistic district of Chelsea — he could not stay where he lived only with her. Dante rarely appeared on the streets, but at home he organized a real bohemian club for intellectuals, artists and wealthy collectors. In the wild garden behind the house is located the famous menagerie Rossetti, where kangaroos, wallabies, battleships, salamanders, marmots, raccoons, peacocks, and the artist's favorite - lived wombat. Every day, models lambered around the house, and every night whiskey flowed like a river, cigars were smoking and endless conversations were conducted. This is a time of financial independence, professional confidence, American art dealers, who are ready to buy in bulk everything that is in the Rossetti workshop. This is the time of the first signs of a whole bunch of diseases, the first recipes and the first recommendations of the best doctors. This is a time of prolonged depression, periodic loss of vision, exhausting insomnia, the first doses of chloral, a narcotic substance that was prescribed as a sleeping pill. This is a time of passion.

Jane morrissince 1858 was the wife of Dante's longtime friend - the artist William Morris, and since 1865 - the mistress and the constant model of Rossetti himself. Morris knew about this connection, did not recognize possessive attitudes in marriage and left a friend with his wife alone for several months - on the Kelmscott manor, which friends rented for two. This relationship lasted for more than 10 years - and the best pictures were written with Jane by which Rossetti is now recognized: "Proserpine", "Pandora", "A dream in reality". Sometimes Dante dreams, suffers and writes a brunette Jane with red hair of his dead wife. And he always remembers that both of them - each in their own time - were the best in his life.

Always painfully enduring criticism, Rossetti was not ready for a new blow. It occurred to him that the early poems, which for 8 years have been buried in Lizzy's coffin, were generally not bad - and it would be nice to publish them. He asks one of his acquaintances to open the coffin and remove the written notebook. When the collection was published, it was smashed to smithereens. Critic Robert Buchanan branded poems obscene and jokingly called Rossetti's style "carnal school of poetry." One of the strongest nervous breakdowns of the artist ends with an attempt to suicide. And he survived.

Survived to work with frenzy and to the limit of forces and emotions, to make for replenishment of large amounts of replicas of the best paintings, to write new, unique plots, to publish translations of early Italian poets and to receive impressive fees from the publication of his own poems, to suffer in insomnia and neuralgic attacks. , take chloral to relieve pain, drink whiskey to alleviate nausea caused by chloral. To lose Jane Morris, who could no longer tolerate the narcotic stupor of her lover - after all, she had children, Jane would say in her defense after Dante's death.

“Chloral had almost no power over that part of his mind, which was responsible for intelligence and imagination.” - Brother Rossetti will write in the memoirs. But what was safe for the imagination completely destroyed the artist’s body and emotions. At the age of 54, he died paralyzed and half-blind in a sanatorium in the seaside resort town of Birchington, where at the insistence of friends he went for treatment. A month before his death, he finished the paintings "Proserpina" and"Joan of Arc" and the ballad "Jan van Hanks", because no misfortune had power over that part of his brain that was responsible for imagination.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova


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