Medieval & Arthurian


'The Wedding of St. George and
Princess Sabra'

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Therein with his dear love he liv'd
And fortune did his nuptials grace;
They many years of joy did see
And led their lives at Coventry.
From 'Sir George and the Dragon'
by Thomas Percy

With medieval motifs all around, the united couple share a moment together.  Saint George envelopes his bride with a kiss as she cuts a lock of her hair for him.


Tristram and Isolde'
by John William Waterhouse

Tristram is the central character in many medieval legends. Mostly portrayed as a self-righteous sinner, he has no shame for his crimes. He is the lover of Isolt who is the wife of King Mark.

 

In Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Guinevere is the wife of King Arthur and the lover of Lancelot. Her sinful love for Lancelot causes her to become selfish. Only concerned with her own interests, her moral ruin eventually destroys the entire court. Near the end of the poem, she realizes her sins and repents. Although she cannot undo her past bad deeds, she decides to become a nun and live a life of prayer and good works.

Morris painted this in tribute to his own queen, Jane Burden, who acted as his model here. Morris was heavily criticized for this work because although it is completely Pre-Raphaelite in style, the model appears flat and lifeless. The only true liveliness comes from the rich bedroom tapestries and chamber accessories.