Study of Jane Morris after Rossetti by MoonSpiral


Small (16.4" x 21.9")

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Study of Jane Morris after Rossetti by 

9×12 pencil on Strathmore drawing paper

This is just a quick sketch I did to study the basic “Jane Morris face style”. Jane Morris was the embodiement of beauty to many of the Pre-Raphaelites including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and her husband William Morris.
I am very intrigued by Jane Morris. In real life pictures of her she is not quite the beauty that Rossetti painted, but still very unique. She was tall and lanky at a time period where curvaceous was the standard and she was bordering on masculine. What did Morris and Rosetti see in her that would later define the Pre-Raphaelite look?
Many of you have probably read that study that stated women are attracted to more masculine looking men when they are ovulating, and more feminine looking men at other times in their monthly cycle. Men tend to always see women from a primal view. In general, our standard of beauty is dictated by our hormones and our primal need to procreate. But I think the Pre-Raphaelites saw something beyond primal in Jane Morris.
Her features, although tending more towards the feminine, are bordering on the androgynous. She is almost a perfect balance of the masculine and feminine. To me, she has the face of what I imagine the angels to have; more feminine but also very masculine. She therefore represents a spiritual ideal, a perfect balance of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. I think this is what captivated the Pre-Raphaelites, and what is still captivating us today.


portrait, woman, pencil, beauty, black and white, pre raphaelite, tammy wampler, jane morris, dante gabriel rossetti

Tammy Mae Moon is tired of writing about herself in third person. I like to paint. I like to paint women and birds and snakes, and a few other things.

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  • John Edwards
    John Edwardsalmost 5 years ago

    Beautifully done

  • Thankyou John!

    – MoonSpiral

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Moorealmost 5 years ago

    Exceptional study, Tammy. I’m a big fan of the Pre-Raphaelites and my work is influenced by the adoration of their work, no doubt. Very interesting write-up and pursuit here of what it was that captivated them. You probably nailed it— that divine balance of masculine and feminine.

    I’ve read that men are attracted to women who look like themselves. While that can’t possibly be 100% true, it’s interesting to consider in light of your theory, too.

  • Hum, that is fascinating. I can think of a lot of couples that I would call “brother and sister” couples. Altogether fascinating stuff. I think many of us fell in love with art because of the Pre-Raphaelites, and there is something in their work that goes way beyond technical superiority. I am glad you like my sketch Frannie, and I love the Pre-Raphaelite influence in your work!

    – MoonSpiral

  • midnightdreamer
    midnightdreameralmost 5 years ago

    This is absolutely beautiful work, her lips and eyes just pulled me right in, you have such an awesome talent my friend! Beautiful, Beautiful work!!

  • Wow, thankyou so much Leah for the kind words :)

    – MoonSpiral

  • robpixaday
    robpixadayalmost 5 years ago

    She’s fascinating and so is the text you’ve included.
    Thank you sooo much for sharing her!

  • Thankyou so much, I am so happy you liked the sketch and my rambling thoughts.

    – MoonSpiral

  • Lynsye Medalia
    Lynsye Medaliaalmost 5 years ago

    This is a really beautiful and detailed sketch! I thik I really want to see more pencil work from you! :) (My turn to be demanding! Muahahahahahaha!) I love what you wrote here….it’s an idea that I would have never thought about on my own, but you are so right. She is a perfect balance. Perhaps society at the time was more in touch with the true divine than we realize. This is just another reminder that we should be getting back to our roots of spirituality.

  • Aww thanks Lynsye. The Pre-Raphaelites were just way ahead of their time, and unfortunately because of that most of them were addicted to drugs and alcohol (except for Waterhouse). I think Rossetti went crazy and was addicted to chloral. I think it is hard to understand spiritual truths at such a deep level when the mass mind is way behind in it’s general understanding. I think we are just now entering a time of this being balanced as these spiritual truths are becoming mainstream.

    – MoonSpiral

  • Alice McMahon
    Alice McMahonalmost 5 years ago

    I love her – and all of the Pre-Raphaelites. Great one MS! xx

  • Thanks Alice! This is pencil, but it made me want to do some charcoal, although I don’t know how you do it on Mylar!

    – MoonSpiral

  • Alice McMahon
    Alice McMahonalmost 5 years ago

    I don’t either! LOL! Seriously, took a few trials and it made me change my style somewhat. May have been a good thing? I really never used charcoal til about 2 years ago, and I have no desire to ever use graphite again. The darks are so rich & deep! Once you get a little control, the smudginess can be used to advantage. Try it! :) This is great though, very deep darks!

  • Yeah, I tend to dig into the paper so much with graphite trying to get those deep darks. I am thinking charcoal is so much closer to pastel I think I would enjoy it.

    – MoonSpiral

  • Anita Inverarity
    Anita Inverarityalmost 5 years ago

    WOW- A quick sketch !!! This is extraordinary :))) Beautiful work hon xx

  • Well, it is a little sloppy if you look closer ;). I want to do a painting soon using this as my reference for the face in it. I am glad you like it, because knowing me I will never get around to doing that painting!

    – MoonSpiral

  • izzybeth
    izzybethalmost 5 years ago

    She is so beautiful!!!

  • Thanks Beth, you have inspired me with all your Waterhouse work!

    – MoonSpiral

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Moorealmost 5 years ago

    By the way, if you haven’t please submit this to SUSA and to Solo and to Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement (which seems to be the only group that includes the period in which The Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites produced their works; so I do keep an eye out for Arts and Crafts and Pre-Raphelites there). Thanks. Did I mention, I love it?

  • Will do…..thanks again Frannie.

    – MoonSpiral

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