Denise M Taylor

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In conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria’s current exhibition, ‘Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’, which I reviewed in a recent post, The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts has organised a two-day symposium opening with a keynote address tomorrow night, 2 July at 6.30 pm. I will be presenting a paper on Saturday afternoon at 2.00 pm, the details of which are set out below.

Associate Professor Alison Inglis from the Art History department at The University of Melbourne has invited a range of  independent scholars, curators, academics and specialists to speak at the symposium. They will share their expert knowledge about aspects of British Pre-Raphaelitism, which will surprise and delight: from photography to decorative arts to paintings, sculpture and frames.  The symposium will reveal how the revolutionary ideals of Pre-Raphaelite artists and their followers markedly affected the future direction of British art. A variety of papers will also focus on the topic of Pre-Raphaelitism in Australia.

The keynote address for the Pre-Raphaelite symposium is being presented by visiting British scholar, Barbara Bryant, who will be speaking on “Australia’s Pre-Raphaelite Collections – the People behind the Portraits” at 6.30 pm on Thursday evening, 2 July.  This is a ticketed event: $16 member/ $20 adult / $18 concession. Booking details are on the NGV website.

Dr Barbara Bryant is an art historian and writer who specialises in the work of artists in nineteenth-century Britain.  In this special lecture, Dr Bryant looks at individuals in the extended Pre-Raphaelite circles to explore their impact on the artistic practice of D.G. Rossetti, F.M. Brown, J.E. Millais, E. Burne-Jones and G.F. Watts in the 1850s and 1860s with particular reference to works in Australian collections.

Even though the sessions on Friday 3 July and Saturday 4 July are free, you still need to register; the Booking Code is P1550. Refer to the NGV website for details:

Friday 3 July

Saturday 4 July

My paper is scheduled for Saturday 4 July at 2.00 pm. The topic is Valentine Prinsep’s ‘The flight of Jane Shore’ (c.1865): a second-generation Pre-Raphaelite artist and a medieval royal mistress and the painting is shown below.



The flight of Jane Shore (c. 1865), a painting by British painter Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904), and owned by the National Gallery of Victoria, is a fascinating visual representation of Elizabeth ‘Jane’ Shore (c.1445-1527): the legendary English medieval adulteress and royal mistress to King Edward IV (1442-1483). The critical reception of Val Prinsep has been aligned with the Pre-Raphaelite, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1888), following the dissolution of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1853, and the subsequent emergence of the so-called second-generation Pre-Raphaelites. This paper will shed light on Prinsep’s development as a young impressionable artist, which began in 1857 when he first met Rossetti and worked with the Rossetti circle of artists on the Oxford Debating Hall murals, illustrating Arthurian legends. Eight years later, when Prinsep painted The flight of Jane Shore, his style is informed by Pre-Raphaelitism and a continuing interest in narrative and historical figures, while Rossetti was moving in another direction. The subject matter of Jane Shore aligns with the Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian interest in medievalism. This paper will analyse Prinsep’s painting of Jane Shore within the contexts of biography, the history of the work, and literary texts featuring this medieval woman.



The symposium will take place at the National Gallery of Victoria International, Clemenger Auditorium, situated close to the ‘mouse-hole’ northern entrance to the Gallery facing the Arts Centre.

 Pre-Raphaelite symposium: Program

National Gallery of Victoria

Thursday 2 July – Saturday 4 July 2015


Thursday 2 July 2015 – NGV International Clemenger Lecture Theatre

6.30-7.30 pm

Keynote speaker: Dr Barbara Bryant

Title of Lecture: Australia’s Pre-Raphaelite Collections: the People behind the Portraits


Friday 3 July 2015 – NGV International

10.00-10.25 am: Guided tour of exhibition

Venue: Medieval Moderns exhibition space, NGVI

Speaker: Laurie Benson, Curator, Medieval Moderns: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood


10.30-5.00 pm: Symposium (Day One)

Venue: Clemenger Lecture Theatre, NGVI

10.30-10.40 am: Welcome.

10.40-11.00 am: An introduction to Pre-Raphaelitism in Australia

Dr Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne


11.00-11.30 Morning Coffee


Session One:

Chair: Laurie Benson, National Gallery of Victoria

11.30-11.50 am: ‘Startle the eye with wonder and delight’:  Julia Margaret Cameron and Pre-Raphaelite photography

Dr Isobel Crombie, National Gallery of Victoria

11.50-12.10 pm: ‘Morris is beaten gold.’ William Morris and the decorative arts revival

Amanda Dunsmore, National Gallery of Victoria

12.10-12.30 pm: The last of the Pre-Raphaelites: Sydney Cockerell and the Melbourne Collections

Dr Shane Carmody, University of Melbourne

12.30-1.00 pm: Questions


1.00-2.00 pm: Lunch


Session Two:

Chair: Alisa Bunbury, National Gallery of Victoria

2.00-2.20 pm: Thomas Woolner – a Pre-Raphaelite in Australia

Caroline Clemente, independent scholar, Melbourne

2.20-2.40: The Australian career of E. L. Bateman (1816-1897)

Dr Anne Neale, University of Tasmania

2.40-3.00: Plenty Botanical: Edward La Trobe Bateman and the ‘Station Plenty’, Yallambie

Lucy Ellem, La Trobe University

3.00-3.30 pm: Questions


3.30-3.50: Afternoon tea


Session Three:

Chair: Christopher Menz, art consultant and independent scholar based in Melbourne

3.50-4.10 pm: New Light on The Light of the World

Dr Bronwyn Hughes, University of Queensland

4.10-4.30 pm: Gilding on wood: Pre-Raphaelite frames

John Payne, National Gallery of Victoria

4.30-4.50 pm: Questions

4.50-5.00 pm: Summation of Day One



Saturday 4 July 2015 – NGV International


10.15 am-5.00 pm: Symposium (Day Two)

Venue: Clemenger Lecture Theatre, NGVI

10.15-10.30 am: Welcome and review of Day One

Dr Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne

10.30-10.50 am: “Visions of things beautiful may be seen by a bushman after his fashion”: Bernhard Smith between the vectors of Biography and Historiography

Dr Juliette Peers, RMIT University

10.50-11.00 Questions


11.00-11.30 Morning coffee


Session Four:

Chair: Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Victoria

11.30-11.50 noon: ‘Elementary Outlines’: William Dyce’s Portrait of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, 1848, in the National Gallery of Victoria

Dr Vivien Gaston, University of Melbourne

11.50-12.10 pm: The Pre-Pre Raphaelites and the Medieval Obsession: Herbert and his Circle

Dr Nancy Langham Hooper, independent scholar, Melbourne

12.10-12.30: Questions

12.30-1.00 pm: Viewing of conservation treatment of J. R. Herbert’s Moses bringing down the Tables of the Law (c.1872-78), second floor, NGV International.


1.00-2.00 pm: Lunch


Session Five:

Chair: Dr Vivien Gaston, University of Melbourne

2.00-2.20 pm: Valentine Prinsep’s ‘The flight of Jane Shore’ (c.1865): a second-generation Pre-Raphaelite artist and a medieval royal mistress

Denise Taylor, independent scholar, Melbourne

2.20-2.40 pm: ‘Wildly Jolly…’?: Baronne Madeleine Deslandes and her portrait by Edward Burne-Jones

Emily Wubben, Shrine of Remembrance

2.40-3.00 pm: Questions


3.00-3.30: Afternoon tea


Session Six:

Chair: Dr Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne

3.30-3.50 pm: Rupert Bunny and the Pre-Raphaelite Aesthetic

Barbara Kane, independent scholar, Melbourne

3.50-4.10 pm: The Medieval Ideal at Fairy Hills: Pre-Raphaelitism and the art of Christian and Napier Waller

Grace Carroll, Australian National University

4.10-4.30 Questions

4.30-4.45 pm: Summation of Day Two

Dr Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne





Featured image: William Holman Hunt, ‘Study of a fig tree for the Shadow of Death’, 1870, gouache and gum arabic over pencil, NGV, Melbourne



Categories: Musings on Art

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