Beautiful and Dead: The Life of a Victorian Muse 

an Illustrated Lecture with Dawn Marie Kresan

Date: Tuesday, March 8th

Time: 7pm-8pm

Admission: $8

Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn

Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2489124

“Woman is muse or she is nothing” Robert Graves

Rossetti’s painting of Siddal in “Beata Beatrix” epitomizes her role of muse. Siddal originally modeled for the painting prior to her death in 1862. Posthumously, Rossetti worked from these early sketches. The painting depicts Beatrice, from Dante’s La Vita Nuova, at the moment of her death. In a letter to William Morris, Rossetti states that he intended the painting “not as a  representation of the incident of the death of Beatrice, but as an ideal of the subject symbolized by a trance or sudden spiritual transfiguration.” As a contemporary female poet, I delve into notions of authority, creativity, and gender. Am I complicit in idealizing the muse? Am I romanticizing tragedy? These are some of the questions I’ll discuss, while examining Siddal’s life, Victorian culture, and the gothic elements of her narrative.