Tate Gallery – London - Portale Europa per l`Istruzione

“Marco Polo“ Rimini
Progetto interregionale
Anno scolastico 2010/2011
Classe VE
Seconda parte
Ecce Ancilla Domini!
(The Annunciation ,1849-1850)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti - (Tate Gallery, London)
It is Rossetti’s second painting and it was so universally
disliked that the refused to exhibit in London again.
His sister, Christina, is the model, as she was for many
of his early works.
The work is highly personal, unlike any other
depiction of that often painted subject.
The angel Gabriel is announcing to the Virgin Mary that she will
give birth to Lord child, She appears to be as if disturbed from
sleep and this is a radical reinterpretation of the subject.
D.G.Rossetti rejected the idea of representing the Virgin passively
receiving the news. Instead he wanted the picture to have a
supernatural realism.
White is the dominant colour, communicating the idea of feminine
purity ad reinforced by the lily.He uses blue, as the colour associated
with the vergin placing a blue screen directly behind her, and out of
the window, the sky alludes to heaven..
The Virgin’s bedroom is very small and simple,
white stone tiles cover the floor, the walls have
white paint, the window has no panes, the bed
is simple, made of wood with a white mat and
a pillow . Gabriel has no wings and his face is
visible in a shadowed profile, with the hints of
yellow flames around his feet.
Ecce Ancilla Domini
(The Annunciation)
Oil on canvas
Mounted on panel
The Tate Gallery,
1. say where the
scene takes place.
3. Point out the details
concerning the Angel
Painting analysis
1.The painting has a tall narrow shape.Highlight the
elements which contribute to the vertical division of space
What elements move across this division?
2. The Preraphaelites adopted the practice of painting over a pure
white ground. Comment on the use of colour in the picture.
and the
Expressive function
The colours chosen are charged with symbolical meanng.
What associations do they suggest?
2. Besides colours objects are also symbolical. Point
then out.
3. Would you say this is a devotional image or rather a
painting about female reality?
Viewer's Response
Ecce Ancilla Domini! Had a very harsh reception it was denounced as
an example of “ perversion of talent”. Compare Rossetti's depiction of
the Virgin with an example of traditional iconography and explain
why the Victorian public found it shocking.
La Ghirlandata
Dante Gabriel Rossetti - (1873)
(Guildhall Art Gallery, London)
“La Ghirlandata “ shows a woman seated pluckin
at a harp, surrounded by plants with two angels
peering through them.
Rossetti painted this picture while he was staying at Kelmscott Manor, the
Oxfordshire house he part-owned with his friend William Morris,
following his breakdown and suicide attempt in 1872. Morris stayed
away, but his wife Jane - with whom Rossetti was in love - was there.
The honeysuckle and roses around the top of the harp in this picture indicate
sexual attraction, while the harp itself represents music - a common metaphor
for love and lovemaking.The climbing plant on the right resembles a clematis,
its climbing tendrilly habit symbolizes binding love .
However the model for the picture was not Jane Morris but a model,
Alexa Wilding,‘a really good-natured creature’,
who arrived at Kelmscott in June 1873.
The angel heads at the top were painted from Jane
and William’s ten-year-olddaughter May, who was
said to dislike Alexa intensely.
La Ghirlandata is one of several paintings of women
playing musical instruments which Rossetti painted
between 1871 and 1874.
His intense use of colour creates a brooding,
Melancholy mood, while the picture’s symbolism though unclear-may reflect his emotional condition
at this time.
Rossetti’s brother later claimed that he had intended ‘a fateful or deathly
purport’ by painting the dark blue poisonous monkshood in the foreground,
but by mistake he had painted its harmless relative the larkspur instead.”
The colour are vivid, the green contrasting with the red hair creates an intense
La Ghirlandata (1873)
Oil on canvas
Guildhall art gallery corporation
2. Point out the decorations
on the instrument
1. Say what the woman
Is like and what she is
3. Wose faces are these?
Painting analysis
1. Complete the following sentences about
the organization of the picture.
a) The composition is almost empty/
b) The space is flattened/ organized in
c) The work creates a dense decorative/ a
stngly realistic effect.
Expressive function
1.Does the picture have a specific subject?
What kind of atmosphere does is evoke?
2.Explain the symbolical meaning of the
blue wings on the harp and the
flowers spread all around.
2. Rossetti described this work as “the greenest
picture in the world” How do his words apply
to the painting?
The Awakening Conscience
William Holman Hunt (1853-54)
Oil on canvas
(Tate Gallery – London)
Like he had in so many of his works,
Hunt invested this painting with moral
It was intended “to show how the still small voice
speaks to a soul in the turmoil of life”.
The picture is full of symbols which serve to
orchestrate the main theme, that of a fallen
woman whose conscience is suddenly awakened to
the innocence of her past and the present error of her way.
The model was Elizabeth Siddal, a beautiful young girl.
Is this a window
or a mirror ?
Wat does the
girl's lack of a
Wedding ring
Wat is there on
The carpet?
The Awakening Conscience
1. Realism and symbolism are mingled in the Awakening
Conscience to represent the theme of the follen woman.
Point out the symbols you can find and try to explain them.
2. How are the image reflected in the mirror and the light in
the right corner related?
Point out the
and decoration
Sir John Everett Millais (1852)
(Tate Gallery, London)
It is his masterpiece and one of the
most striking images in the history
of British painting.
It illustrates Queen Gertrude’s description in Hamlet Act 4 Scene 7
of Ophelia’s suicide:
“ There is a willow grows aslant a brook…. There with fantastic garlands
did she come….. when down her weedy trophies and herself fell in the
weeping brooks. Her clothes spread wide: and mermaid-like, a-while they
bore her up: which time she chanted snatches of old tunes…”
( C’è sul ruscello un salice che si protende dalla sponda…….. Là venne ad
intrecciare fantasiose ghirlande con ranuncoli ortiche margherite e con le
rosse orchidee …….. Qui volle arampicarsi per apppendere alle fronde le sue
ghirlande, ma si spezzò l’invidioso ramo ed ella cadde con tutti i suoi fiori nel
ruscello che piange.
n true Pre-Raphaelite fashion the background was carefully painted
from nature, mainly on the banks of the river Ewell near Kingston on
Thames, during the summer of 1851, Millais recorded that he and Hunt
would rise at six, be working by eight, not returning home until seven in
the evening, and that he painted sitting by the stream ; in the winter he
painted in his studio from the model Elizabeth Siddal who had to lie in a
bath of water for hours which the artist tried, unsuccessfully, to keep
warm by placing lamps underneath., in order to achieve the effect of her
dress in the water.
Visita virtuale:
Tate Gallery
Guildhall Art Gallery
Aula multimediale
The end
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