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Title: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's language of flowers
Author: Whyman, Julie Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 8140
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the role of flowers within the oil paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It proposes that previous analyses based on the supposed ‘Victorian language of flowers’ are prejudicial and unduly constrictive. Instead, it makes a case for a more inclusive mode of interpretation structured according to Dante’s four levels of interpretation: the literal (in this case, botanical); the allegorical (or symbolic); the moral; and the mystical (here forming an analogy for responses to scent). The final chapter brings all four themes together and offers a different inflexion of the mystical through a careful study of the spectral quality of Beata Beatrix. By re-evaluating Victorian critiques by John Ruskin, Walter Pater, William Michael Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, and William Tirebuck, this thesis seeks to develop a new methodology for examining Rossetti’s flowers, thus revealing that Rossetti’s language of flowers was more contradictory, elusive, and multi-layered than is currently appreciated.
Supervisor: Prettejohn, Elizabeth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available