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Romance in store at the V&A

10 September 2003Written by ATG Reporter

Pre-Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, by Suzane Fagence Cooper, published by V&A Publications. ISBN 1851773932 £30hb (pub. Oct 9).

ANOTHER trawl through the V&A’s themed holdings “hidden in our stores”; this time via the Pre-Raphaelites whose work litters the V&A, from painted furniture to tapestries and mosaics. Even the Green Dining Room was designed and decorated by Morris, Burne-Jones and Philip Webb. The “stores” have revealed Rossetti’s designs for stained glass, gilded panels, Millais’ book illustrations, Burne-Jones’ painted pianos and Julia Margaret Cameron photographs, among the earliest photographs acquired by the museum.

There are also a number of important pieces of Pre-Raphaelite jewellery gifted by descent from Jane Morris, and including the Heart Brooch given to Jane by Rossetti and which is worn by Fanny Cornforth in the painting The Blue Bower, as well as pieces attributed to Burne-Jones.

The author is a research fellow at the V&A and she co-curated the V&A’s 2001 exhibition Inventing New Britain: the Victorian Vision.

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ATG Reporter

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