Paolo and Francesca by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Tate Britain, 1855
Rossetti's painting of the love affair of Paola and Francesca was drawn from his favourite poet, Dante. In 'Inferno' we read how the pair were doomed to hurtle around Hell for Eternity in each other's arms. Their tale inspired the Pre-Raphaelites to create watercolours, oil paintings and sculptures in their honour. This 'love-beyond-death' theme was a recurring feature of Rossetti's work with his poem 'The Blessed Damozel' evoking the yearning of a dead girl for her living beloved.
My new lecture on 'The Living and the Dead: the Victorians and their afterlife' explores the Victorian obsession with ghosts, mesmerism and Spritualism. It lifts the veil on apparitions and the uncanny in 19th century art. Do contact me for more details : firstname.lastname@example.org