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Living Paintings

Eternal Love

Suitable for: Book Clubs

Beata Beatrix is an iconic Pre-Raphaelite painting and the tragedy of Lizzie Siddell, lover and muse of Rossetti, is desperately romantic. Harold’s heroic death is one of the first history lessons we learn – 1066 and all that! His love for Edith Swan-Neck, his mistress, is not so well known. Folklore has it that Edith walked through the carnage of the battle field and identified Harold by marks on his body known only to her. There is a moving statue in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings, of Harold lying on his back and the figure of Edith hunched over him, holding up his head towards her face.

Listen to an audio clip

The art of 'Beatrix' depicts the dying moments of a young and beautiful woman. She sits with eyes closed, head raised in a trance-like pose, her open hands rest upon her lap and a sacred dove drops into them a white poppy. A sundial is at her side. This young woman is the Beatrice worshipped from afar by the 13th Century poet, Dante and in his poem 'Vita Nuova' he recounts the story of his all consuming love for this woman, the daughter of a prominent Florentine citizen.
The two small figures in the painting's background represent Dante gazing towards a beautiful red robed figure - Love.
Rossetti, a major figure in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was not only a painter, he was also a poet, and before the age of 20 had spent several years translating the cycle of poems and commentary that made up Dante's 'Vita Nuova'.

What's inside

  • 10 copies of two or three raised tactile images.
  • Audio descriptions with music and sound effects in your chosen format of either CD or USB.
  • An A4 large print colour image pack, containing 10 copies of each topic.
  • Guidance Notes, for Book Club leaders, to help you make the most of using this book.
  • An ‘Articles for the Blind’ returns label for the free and convenient return of the box.

Touch to see image list

Beata Beatrix painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1860-70
The Death of Harold, Bayeux Tapestry

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