ONLY REMEMBER ME
A new exhibition pays homage to one of our greatest female poets
An exhibition at Watts Gallery reconsiders Christina Rossetti’s complex legacy
Beautiful, well-connected and tempestuous, the poet Christina Rossetti embodied the romantic ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. As a model, she sat for some of the period’s leading artists, including her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. Many of these portraits are shown in a new show at Watts Gallery that charts her extensive sphere of influence in the 19thcentury art world. An accompanying book by Nicholas Tromans and Susan Owens explores her legacy, most notably the enigmatic verses that subverted Victorian sensibilities: perhaps her most famous work, ‘Goblin Market’, is a tale of sisterly devotion that is ostensibly for children yet is laced with so much subtext that critics still struggle to fully decipher the narrative more than 150 years later. Rossetti also wrote some of Britain’s best-loved carols, from ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ to ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’, and their enduring popularity is another tribute to her remarkable talent. catriona gray ‘Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse’ is at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Compton, Surrey (www. wattsgallery.org.uk), from 13 November to 17 March 2019. ‘Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art’ by Susan
Owens and Nicholas Tromans (£30, Yale) is out now.
Clockwise from right: John Brett’s 1857’s portrait of Christina Rossetti.The poet drawn in chalks by her brother Dante Gabriel in 1866. A picture of Christina and her brother by Max Beerbohm from his 1922book ‘Rossetti and his Circle’