Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth.
The perception of beauty was quite different in the nineteenth century. In 1868, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an English painter and poet, created Venus Verticordia – a sonnet with a corresponding painting. This is an example of one of Rossetti’s “double works of art”, in which he produces a set of visuals and texts that are meant to elaborate upon each other. Rossetti was often criticized for his work because he did not conform to the typical mold, but decided to challenge the Victorian standards of beauty instead. Venus is universally recognized as the goddess of love and beauty. However, beauty is subjective and the ideals of beauty are always changing due to individual tastes. The poem is in the English sonnet form and written in iambic pentameter. It first appeared in the 1868 edition of Notes on the Royal Academy Exhibition. The associated portrait is an oil painting that features model, Alice Wilding.