One hundred sixty-five years ago today, the Pre‑Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded by John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Their movement was dedicated to producing compositions with grand complexities, vibrant colour, and copious detail. They had the gift of talent, technique, and the unbridled enthusiasm that only youth can enable. Reading their history was like fondly remembering an old friend. I too had the proverbial “fire in the belly” during my time at the York Academy of Arts. Rules were made to be broken. Debates were heated and passionate. Art was everything.
It was with pleasure that I learnt of an Artist Trading Card exhibit. The Carlisle Arts Learning Center, Carlisle PA, is hosting an exhibit of ATC’s with “Home” as the theme. They are hoping to get one hundred cards to exhibit and trade. As I was looking through all things Pre‑Raphaelite, a quote from William Morris got me thinking:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I suppose as the Seasons change and Halloween approaches, I decided to take a rather macabre approach to the ATC. I have always loved William Holman Hunt’s “Isabella and the Pot of Basil”. The work is inspired by a narrative poem by John Keats. The ghost of Isabella’s murdered love comes to her in a dream. She retrieves his head, buries it in the pot of basil, and pines for her lost love.
Whether encouraged by a ghost, a Muse, an anniversary, a Season…home and beauty…it’s all in your point of view.