We value your support now more than ever.
All year we’ve been covering the issues that matter most to you—the pandemic, the election, policing, housing, and more—and now our end of year membership campaign is here. Will you support our work to ensure we can bring you the same informative local reporting in 2021?
In pre-Raphaelite art, if Lizzie Siddal played the virgin and Fanny Cornforth played the whore, Jane Morris’ role was somewhat more complex. Camille Paglia described the model as having “a mannish hardness,” but that’s only in relation to the corset-bound, fair-haired standard of beauty that her presence exploded. Lanky and charcoal-browed, with voluminous curls and a preference for loose, flowing garments, Morris was seen by 19th-century Romantic painters as something exotic, mysticalnot just literally, but figuratively dark. Designer William Morris may have married her, but he couldn’t capture her on canvas. Dante Gabriel Rossetti succeeded where the designer failed, taking Morris as a lover and a favorite model. Debra N. Mancoff, author of Jane Morris: The Pre-Raphaelite Model of Beauty, speaks about the woman behind the paintings at 5 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. Free. (202) 347-5495. (Pamela Murray Winters)