The Telegraph has an interesting article about how a lot of Victorian and Eduardian paintings made it to Puerto Rico:
Pre-Raphaelites from Puerto Rico
On the day before he died of a heart attack in 1898, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones was busy at work on The Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, a massive oil painting inspired by Malory in which a mortally wounded King Arthur is laid out on a bier.
The artist had been working for 17 years on his unfinished magnum opus, which had been commissioned in 1881 by George Howard, later ninth Earl of Carlisle, for the library at Naworth Castle in Cumberland.
But that was not where the painting ended up. For the past 45 years, the 21ft by 9ft canvas has hung in an obscure museum in the crumbling colonial town of Ponce on the south coast of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon is a huge canvas, and when I lived in Puerto Rico I spent a lot of time enjoying its details. This (and The Avengers) was the start of my Anglophilia. After I had moved away from Puerto Rico, graduated from college and started working, one day I decided I would study one art movement in detail and chose the Pre-Raphaelites which – as far as art movements go – were a small group. I spent my first trip to England visiting the Tate, Lord Leighton’s house and other locales related to the Pre-Raphaelites.
Of course some of their stuff is best described as “Victorian monstruosities”, but that only adds to the fun.
I have forgotten most of what I studied then. Time flew while I was having fun, for sure.
While not a Pre-Raphaelite, Lord Leighton’s masterpiece Flaming June was also exhibited in the same room at the Museo de Ponce. Unfortunately the drama of the painting is greatly reduced by photography and by not showing it framed. Frames are an important element in Victorian and Eduardian painting, especially in the case of the Pre-Raphaelites who included some of their poetry in the frame. They in turn inspired William Morris, the creator of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The Puerto Rican Pre-Raphaelites will be in loan to the Tate in London until February next year.
The WSJ’s Five Best Books, on New York society, selected by Frances Kiernan:
(As a side note, when entering “Washington Square” in the Amazon search, it yielded “Good In Bed”, not quite what one expects.)
Ralph Lauren Women’s Nadine Wedge Pump in navy,
Pat has the Carnival of the Insanities. Go check it out.
More blogging later.