Programs & Events
Art Chat Weekly: La Bella Mano with Guest Dr. David Bentley
In a brief commentary on La Bella Mano
(1875) shortly after it was painted, Rossetti’s friend and former fellow Pre-Raphaelite Frederic George Stephens described it as “simply a painter’s fancy, and almost entirely dependent on pictorial qualities.” Dr. David Bentley from Western University of Canada joins curator Margaretta Frederick to discuss the painting’s symbolic details and its intriguing relationship to Murray Marks, the curiosity dealer who commissioned it. This talk will also explore the sonnet that Rossetti wrote for La Bella Mano
, where the description of the woman’s beautiful hand as “A flower of Venus’ own virginity” invites questions about the role of classical mythology in the painting and its underlying conceptions of female purity and sexuality.