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The Two Faces of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Rossetti's Portraits -- well, up to a point. There are some gorgeous paintings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti of his favourite sitters and his muses that are the star attractions of this show about the Pre-Raphaelite at the Holburne Museum in Bath.  But amid all the big hair and the pouting red lips, just how many really are portraits, giving you an insight into the characters of the women he's depicted? And how many are those idealised visions of enigmatic women Rossetti seemed to specialise in, those ladies of the town with the kiss of a snake that LS Lowry found so attractive.  For example, here's Alexa Wilding, one of Rossetti's most frequent models, though, for once, apparently not one of his love interests. She's posed as  Monna Vanna , the vain woman, a painting originally entitled Venus Veneta , representing the Venetian ideal of female beauty. Staring into the distance, resplendent in a billowing, ornate gown and fingering her fantastic fan and her coral neckl

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