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Representations of Arthurian Legend in the 19th Century

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Presentation on theme: "Representations of Arthurian Legend in the 19th Century"— Presentation transcript:

1 Representations of Arthurian Legend in the 19th Century

2 The Long Absence of Arthur 16th - 18th Centuries
Arthurian legend unpopular in 18th and early 19th centuries Sexual misconduct of . . . Catholic overtones of Grail episodes

3 Victoria and Albert Prince Albert’s tribute to Queen Victoria
( ) ( ) The Royal Collection Windsor. Prince Albert’s tribute to Queen Victoria Frescoes for Queen's Royal Robing Room in Parliament Paintings from Arthurian Legend illustrating Christian virtues Commissioned William Dyce ( ) Christian virtues from Malory?

4 4 frescoes personify British virtues illustrated in Arthurian legend: Religion, Generosity, Courtesy, Mercy. Merci (1848) shows Lancelot on his horse sparing the fallen Arthur.

5 Tennyson’s Idylls of the King
Tennyson made the legend acceptable to Victorian values Very Christian king Arthur ~ Christ Arthur ~ King Alfred How does Tennyson deal with morally reprehensible elements in Malory?

6 The Moxon Tennyson Idylls of the King, 1857, published by Edward Moxon
Started surge of book illustration in England 30 illustrations by the Pre-Raphaelites, and 24 by men of the traditional Victorian school 18 by Millais, seven by Holman Hunt and five by Rossetti.

7 Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Dante Gabriel Rossetti ( ) Organized the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood to promote "genuine" artistic ideas, i.e., not conventions ordained by the Academy, to study art of the past, especially the Middle Ages and Renaissance before Raphael, and to study nature and pay attention to detail.

8 The Moxon Tennyson, cont.
Rossetti’s Palace of Art William Holman Hunt’s The Lady of Shalott

9 Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
King Arthur's Tomb (detail) (1854 watercolor, only 9"x14", showing Lancelot and Guenever meeting over Arthur's corpse)

10 Rossetti, cont. The Damsel of the Sanct Grail (1857)

11 Rossetti, cont. How Sir Galahad, Sir Bors, and Sir Percival Were Fed with the Grail, but Sir Percival's Sister Died by the Way (1864 watercolor)

12 William Morris ( ) Guenevere or La Belle Iseult (Morris' wife-to-be was the model)

13 Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
The Beguiling of Merlin (Burne-Jones painted 5 versions of Merlin and Nimue)

14 The Dream of Sir Lancelot at the Chapel of the Holy Grail
Burne-Jones, cont. The Dream of Sir Lancelot at the Chapel of the Holy Grail

15 John Collier ( ) Guinivere’s Maying

16 Frank Cowper ( ) The Damsel of the Lake, Called Nimue the Enchantress (1924)

17 La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Cowper, cont. Four Queens Find Lancelot Sleeping La Belle Dame Sans Merci

18 William Holman Hunt (1827-1910)
The Lady of Shalott ( )

19 John William Waterhouse (1874-1890)
“I am Half Sick of Shadows” Said the Lady of Shalott c.1916

20 Waterhouse, cont. The Lady of Shalott, 1888

21 Waterhouse, cont. The Lady of Shalott, 1894

22 Sidney Meteyard ( ) "I am half-sick of shadows," said the Lady of Shalott (1913)

23 Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922)
Stitching the Standard (1911)

24 Leighton, cont. God’s Speed or A Lady’s Favor

25 Leighton, cont. Accolade

26 More Shalotts Seymour Garstin Harvey (? ) The Lady of Shalott (Beneathe a Willow Left Afloat)

27 Elaine-The Dead Steer'd by the Dumb Went Upward with the Flood
More Shalotts, cont. Briton Riviere ( ) Elaine-The Dead Steer'd by the Dumb Went Upward with the Flood

28 More Shalotts, cont. Arthur Hughes (1823-1904)
The Lady of Shalott 1872

29 John Atkinson Grimshaw (1854-1906)
More Shalotts, cont. John Atkinson Grimshaw ( ) Elaine

30 More Shalotts, cont. Sophie Anderson ( ) The Lady of Shalott

31 Illustrators: Gustave Dore (1832-1883)
Illustrated 4 poems for Tennyson's Idylls. Made 36 more drawings, which were copied by engravers and later published all together. Finding Arthur The King's Farewell

32 Illustrators: Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)
Created 500 black & white drawings for J. M. Dent's Le Morte D'Arthur, Art Nouveau style. Victorians were not enthusiastic about his tendency to portray men as passive, androgynous, unheroic beings often reclining, asleep, or naked, while his women and feys were more active. How Sir Lancelot Was Known by Dame Elaine. How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword Excalibur into the Water

33 Illustrators: Julia Margaret Cameron
Tennyson asked her to illustrate his Idylls. Her photographs used top & side lighting, long exposure, and the wet collodion development process to create an otherworldly aura of the magical past. Published in 1874. Vivien and Merlin The Little Novice and the Queen

34 Cameron, cont. Arthur Wounded Arthur

35 Illustrators: N. C. Wyeth
Illustrated Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur, 1917. Then Sir Launcelot saw her visage, but he wept not greatly, but sighed. Inside Cover


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