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.