Art Forum Reviews Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse

Back to News

Posted 10th December 2018

Art Forum Reviews
Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse

The Art Forum is a group for 14-18 year olds who are interested in art, design, museums, galleries and culture.

Read on to learn what a selection of the group's members made of our exhibition on Christina Rossetti, Christina Rossett: Vision & Verse, on display until 17 March 2019.

The Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse exhibition at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village particularly portrayed a sense of importance in family throughout Rossetti's journey to becoming a writer.

Christina's brothers (particularly Dante Gabriel Rossetti) were well-known Pre-Raphaelite artists and were within the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

One of the first portraits you can see on walking into the exhibition is a large chalk pastel piece of Christina which was made by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Christina was often asked to model for her brother's paintings and was usually assigned the role as the Virgin Mary. Christina however did not always wish to be at the front and centre of her brother's paintings.

Moving on through the exhibition more of Christina Rossetti's writing is displayed along with a few illustrations for her pieces. Many of the earlier illustrations for Christina's work were produced by her brothers and other artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. I believe this suggests the strong relationship Christina and her brother Dante Gabriel has as she would help with the modelling for his work while Gabriel would illustrate Christina's literature.

Nearing the end of the exhibition there is a stunning portrait of both Christina and their mother done by Dante Gabriel. This was done at a later point in their lives when Dante Gabriel was suffering with ill-health and was convinced he could no longer draw. Christina however was able to persuade him otherwise as she told him she was gripped by the urge to be drawn.


A simple, fun exhibition that sheds light on the life of the enigmatic Christina Rossetti. Segments of her lyrical poems are displayed, accompanied by starkly vivid paintings inspired by her work. One masterpiece is The Mower. This piece inspired by her poem on loss, vividly illustrates this universal theme, the youth and fading light provoking thought in the viewer. Another delight is to look at book covers of her work in all their handmade glory.

Among the books are scraps of her poetry and her illustrations, that show flashes of brilliance of Rossetti's imagination. Including her most famous work: Goblin Market. Her faith shines solidly through adding a hopeful hint at her views for humanity. Other highlights are her paintings lovingly done by her brother, Dante Gabriel that show her as a figure worthy of awe and cause the viewer to reflect on their close sibling bond.


The Christina Rossetti exhibition is about her writing, like her poems. One bit was about animals and she was against the use of animals, so it shows that she liked animals. She had drawn a picture of wombats. Christina wrote two books of poetry for children. Her poems for the children were cheery, and it would get children interested and it would make them like her poems. One of the poems for children is like a sing song and it is called Pig in a Wig. Christina had also made a book of poems for older children. Goblin Market is where a girl warns other people not to buy fruit and other things from the goblins. Christina thought about the ages she wanted to work with and she came up with poems that had suited the age range. In the exhibition I like how there are little bits of her poems on the wall and what the poems are called.


Latest News

Prev Next

How can recreational activities for those who are D/deaf in arts and heritage be improved?

4 May

A Day in the Life of a Volunteer Steward

20 Apr

Scanning our artworks to make 3D models with ScanTheWorld

19 Apr

The De Morgan Collection at Watts Gallery

13 Apr

A Day in the Life of a Collections Assistant

18 Mar

Re-opening Limnerslease: Artists' Home

18 Jan

Watts Creatives meet artist Ed Boxall

22 Nov

Art for All Artist Q&A: Joshua Schoeman

12 Nov

Celebrating Watts at Home

26 Aug