Dante Gabriel Rossetti
British, 1828 - 1882
One of the largest and most extraordinary of all Rossetti's pictures of Jane Morris. She is
portrayed as Astarte, the cruel Babylonian fertility goddess, with two torch-bearing attendants, in a composition full of
tension and mannerism, glowing with deep and mysterious colours. This is the very
epitome of the Rossettian Pre-Raphaelite love goddess, and Rossetti wrote a poem
"Here indeed the two attendants with their torches and upward glance seem to testify to some dark, unholy power, the cruelty that is akin to lust. The strange sights that she has seen in grave and shrine seem to have fed her beauty with lurid and terrible royalty, where she reigns in a dark serenity which nothing can appal."
(A.E. Benson, 1904)
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