John William Waterhouse, The Danaides

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Jane Morris, William Morris’s wife, modelled for a huge number of the pre-raphaelites paintings. She is the woman from which the icon pre-raphaelite ‘look’ comes from: masculine jaw line, heavy lidded eyes, red hair, white skin, strong nose.

I have always assumed that at some point her look became so central to the aesthetic of the movement that they didn’t necessarily have to use her as a direct model any more, they just drew every woman like Jane, so I’m not sure which paintings she actually sat for and which she didn’t. I don’t even know if she met Waterhouse directly, but even if she didn’t, he is modelling his figures after Rosetti who is modelling his figures after Jane, if you see what I mean.

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