Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Pre-Raphaelite ugliness?

The Pre-Raphaelites were often associated with ugliness, especially in the 1850s, but this article I came across while doing research for my MA dissertation possibly is one of the most entertaining! 

Dedea Redanies was convicted in 1857 for the murder of Caroline and Maria Back. It evidently was an infamous case as although the crime occurred in Dover the article in question comes from a Sheffield newspaper.

Here are a couple of extracts from the article;

“As a proof of the singular character of this man we have been favoured with the sight of a little memento he gave to a man appointed to watch over him.” 

These 'mementos' were drawings of the murders which I have included below.
The article then goes onto say that; “Both drawings are extremely well done, considering the unfavourable nature of the materials at the prisoner’s command, while there is a quite a Pre-Raphaelite minuteness of detail” - (‘Sentence of Death of the Dover Double Murderer, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Saturday December 27, 1856.)

Typical Victorians to turn a news article about an awful crime into an art review!

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