Imagine discovering a double from another century. In 2004, it happened to me, a Dutch artist (born 1975). I was given this photograph of Jane Morris (1839-1914), and at first glance I thought I was seeing myself. This discovery of my double led to the project ‘Reflections on Jane Morris’ in 2009. Since, I have been working with photographs, collages, drawings, paintings and text.
Pre-Raphaelite Muse Jane Morris was the wife of designer William Morris; she was the muse of painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and had an affair with him. Because of the love these two famous men felt for her, a large amount of images and artefacts have been preserved. I have plunged into this source material to get inspiration for my visual research.
Jane Morris’ intriguing appearance deviated from the beauty ideal of the Victorian time. She inspired Rossetti to create a new ideal image, of which she became the personification. As a contemporary female artist my viewpoint differs from Rossetti’s. It is my underlying intention to free Jane Morris of the myth that has been created around her. I have created a role for myself, based on Jane Morris’ history to complement and modernise her persona.