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Joli Coeur

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
Europe, United Kingdom, England

First floor: Victorian

oil paint
38.1 x 30.2 cm

More Details

Joli Coeur 1867
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882
Oil on panel

Joli Coeur refers to both the pretty pendant
and the beating heart of the girl in this painting
although the notion of true love seems suspect here.
There is the decadence of a Venetian courtesan
in the rich red and gold colouring of the cloth
and in sensuous touches like the fur-lined sleeves.
The immodest way the girl is unbuttoning
to reveal underclothes and flesh
means this is an image of seduction, not romance.

Annie Horniman gave the painting to the gallery.
She opened the first repertory theatre in Manchester
and described herself as a 'middle-aged, middle class,
suburban, dissenting spinster'.
Intriguingly, Joli Coeur represents the very opposite.

Miss A E F Horniman bequest 1937.746