- Slides: 10
“Lady Lilith” Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828 - 1882 - English poet, painter, translator - Preferred mythological subjects - Born Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti - Obsessed with wombats
Model: Jane Burden - mistress of Rossetti, but married to William Morris - had a poor childhood and no education, but was discovered by Rossetti and asked to model - was very intelligent and became self-educated after her engagement
Origins of Lilith Story “Lilith” in the Old Testament refers to a screech owl or a demon. The idea of Lilith as the first wife of Adam arose in the Middle Ages Support in Biblical Text: Genesis 1: 27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" – before the description of Eve’s creation in Gen. 2: 22 Story of Lilith became widely known in 17 th century with the publication of the Lexicon Talmudicon
Body’s Beauty Sonnet LXXVIII, from The House of Life OF Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told (The witch he loved before the gift of Eve, ) That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive, And her enchanted hair was the first gold. And still she sits, young while the earth is old, And, subtly of herself contemplative, Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave, Till heart and body and life are in its hold. The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare? Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent, And round his heart one strangling golden hair.
Harry Ransom Center Holding Study for oil painting Lilith, 1867 Colored chalk on paper. 28 x 24” (71. 1 x 61 cm).
Another Lilith Lady Lilith, 1867 Watercolor and gouache on paper; 20 3/16 X 17 5/16 in. (51. 3 x 44 cm) Rogers Fund, 1908 (08. 162. 1)
The Final Painting Lady Lilith, 1868 -1873 Oil on canvas 38 x 33 1/2 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
Significance • Lilith represents the “body’s beauty” • Sensual woman painted brushing her hair, not wearing a corset • Surrounded by flowers • Conscious of her own beauty and power to control others • Paradox: Lilith is both a highly sexualized object and an empowered woman
Works Cited The Collected Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Ed. By William M. Rossetti. Ellis and Scrutton: London, 1886. “The Beauty as Power in Rossetti’s Lady Lilith. ” http: //www. victorianweb. org/painting/dgr/paintings/may 4. html “The Paradox of Lady Lilith. ” http: //www. victorianweb. org/painting/dgr/paintings/4. html Wikipedia contributors, "Jane Burden, " Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http: //en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Jane_Burden&oldid=40278234 (accessed February 28, 2006).