As we prepare for this Saturday’s opening of Beloved California VIII, I’m sharing some of the work in the show. Today’s painting is “Jane Morris at Sunset” (22″ x 36″) by Paul Roehl. We gave it a No. 183 “Maybeck” at 3″ wide in quartersawn white oak with Saturated Medieval Oak stain.Paul describes this as “a kind of homage to the Pre-Raphaelites.” Just as Dante Gabriel Rossetti had idealized his late wife, Elizabeth Siddal, in paintings as Dante Alighieri’s own Beatrice, after Lizzy’s death, Rossetti similarly represented William Morris’s wife, Jane Morris. Note how the trees form a Roman numeral IX. In the “Divine Comedy,” explains Paul, Dante associates Beatrice with the number nine (IX),
because her root is in the Trinity, he met her when she was nine and she died at eighteen (twice nine). She is perfection both physically and in spirit to such a degree as to allow her to lead Dante into heaven itself. She manifests the idea that the experience of beauty in nature and each other reconciles us as an antidote to the despair of being. And that’s an idea that finds favor with artists! I thought it would be interesting to represent Jane Morris (Beatrice) in that role as a kind of divine muse overseeing the end of the day.
Beloved California VIII opens Saturday with a reception for the artists from 2 to 4. Come meet Paul Roehl and revel in the beauty of “Jane Morris at Sunset”—and our entire gallery and showroom of landscape paintings.« Back to Blog