Wirral shows Rossetti 'femme-fatale' Pre-Raphaelite works

Jane Morris seated on a divan Image copyright Birmingham Museums Trust
Image caption Jane Morris, who is pictured seated on a divan, was spotted by Rossetti during a theatre trip

Rarely displayed works of the "ultimate femme-fatale" who inspired a Victorian artist have gone on show in Merseyside.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti pictured his "muse and lover" Jane Morris in many of his Pre-Raphaelite works.

Thirty paintings, sketches and photos of her feature in the Rossetti's Obsession exhibition at Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral, until 21 September.

Galleries director Sandra Penketh said the exhibition marks 100 years since Mrs Morris' death.

Image copyright NML/BMT

Ms Penketh said: "Jane Morris as a model, muse, wife, lover and artist in her own right was at the heart of this explosive group which challenged the art establishment of the time."

Rossetti had a long affair with model Mrs Morris shortly after she married William in 1859.

'Striking features'

Ms Penketh said Rossetti, who died in 1882, depicted Mrs Morris as the "ultimate femme-fatale".

"Her striking features, tumbling long hair and haunting stare appear in so many of Rossetti's finest works that they have become indelibly associated with the movement," Ms Penketh added.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded 150 years ago by Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais who wanted to revolutionise the Victorian art world.

Image copyright Birmingham Museums Trust

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