Film Series on Victorian Womanhood Continues March 4

For Immediate Release

February 23, 2001

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, (February 23, 2001) - The Clark Art Institute will present two films on Sunday, March 4, in connection with the current exhibition Rossetti in the 1860s: The Blue Bower. At 1:00 p.m., the 1969 film Dante's Inferno: the Life of Gabriel Rossetti will be seen, followed by a screening of The Governess at 3:00 p.m. Admission to both films is free.

Dante's Inferno stars Oliver Reed as English painter and poet Rossetti, whose sumptuous female portraits are the focus of the Clark exhibition. The ninety-minute film, directed by Ken Russell, looks at Rossetti's life, loves, and association with the artists known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The film will be shown again on Sundays, April 1 and May 6, at 1:00 p.m.

The Governess (1998, 105 minutes) stars Minnie Driver as a young Jewish woman from London who obtains a position as governess on a country estate. The period film was written and directed by Sandra Goldbacher. The Governess is one of a series of films about Victorian women offered on the first Sunday of the month at 3:00 p.m. in connection with Rossetti in the 1860s. Upcoming films will be Far from the Madding Crowd (1967, 169 minutes) on April 1 and Angels and Insects (1995, 117 minutes) on May 6.

Rossetti in the 1860s highlights Rossetti (1828-1882) and his half-length portraits of models who epitomized his ideal of female beauty-what he called "stunners." Rossetti's favorite models, who included his wife Elizabeth Siddal and his mistress Fanny Cornforth, shared common traits of long, elegant necks, cupid's-bow mouths, heavy-lidded eyes, and rich, wavy hair. Rossetti depicted these women, usually surrounded by rich fabrics and exotic decoration, in literary and idealized terms, often with an undertone of dangerous sensuality. The exhibition is organized by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the University of Birmingham, England. The Clark is the only American venue for the exhibition.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

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