Synopses & Reviews
The Pre-Raphaelite Model of Beauty. Just as the late twentieth century had Twiggy, Farrah Fawcett, and Cindy Crawford, the late nineteenth century had Jane Morris, one of the world's first 'supermodels'.
Immortalized by painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and widely imitated by fashionable women, Jane Morris (1839-1914) was not a typical Victorian beauty. Her unruly dark hair, lanky figure, and loose garments stood out in an age that favored petite, fair-haired women with feminine curves. Drawing on lavish portraits and rare photographs, Debra Mancoff examines Morris's image within the context of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic ideals and Victorian standards of fashion. Part biography, part art history, and part cultural study, Jane Morris traces the beauty's rise from an eighteen-year-old working-class Oxford girl to a virtual "supermodel" for the Pre-Raphaelites, focusing on her relationships with artist-designer William Morris, whom she married in 1859, and Rossetti, with whom she shared a life-long romance.