Today I finally got to see the current Tate Exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite works so I can now press on with my written assignment over the next few weeks.

During a lecture a couple of weeks back I was bothered by the composition of Rossetti’s Monna Vanna but couldn’t decide why. All I could see was that her left arm didn’t appear quite right. Today, standing before the real thing for some time I concluded that Rossetti had modelled the composition of the girl on that of a logarithmic spiral which, in nature, has approximate golden ratio proportions. I believe that the spiral in her hair also alludes to this but I will need to do more research.

So does this painting mark a departure from the PRB’s original aims and a return to the timeless principles of the classical ideal. We know that many of them did return to a more traditional approach so it is interesting to see evidence of that shift in this painting.