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The Pre-Raphaelites and OrientalismLanguage and Cognition in Remediations of the East$
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Eleonora Sasso

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474407168

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407168.001.0001

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date: 02 June 2020

‘[S]elling old lamps for new ones’: D. G. Rossetti’s Restructuring of Oriental Schemas

‘[S]elling old lamps for new ones’: D. G. Rossetti’s Restructuring of Oriental Schemas

(p.11) Chapter 1 ‘[S]elling old lamps for new ones’: D. G. Rossetti’s Restructuring of Oriental Schemas
The Pre-Raphaelites and Orientalism

Eleonora Sasso

Edinburgh University Press

The first chapter outlines Rossetti’s fascination with the East, as exemplified by his illustrations and paintings remediating the stories of the Arabian Nights. Rossetti illustrated the stories of Aladdin, Sinbad, Amine and Princess Parisad by employing the magical lamp of translation, fostering cultural diversity and Oriental pluralisms. By conceiving the East as a blended space, he produced Oriental ‘double works of art’ that blend together poetry and painting, East and West, and experiment with forms of Turkish and biblical Orientalism. Such conceptual metaphors as East is violence and love is destruction are projected on to Cassandra (1861) and Helen of Troy (1863), examples of Turkish Orientalism that remediate Oriental schemas by applying a tuning approach. Other Oriental double works of art, such as The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849), Ecce Ancilla Domini! (1849–50), The Beloved, or The Bride (1865), Astarte Syriaca (1876) and Mnemosyne (1881), represent Rossetti’s mental picture of biblical Orientalism. By restructuring a few variables of the Oriental biblical schema, and by blending Western female beauty with Eastern symbology, Rossetti creates an entirely new vision of the East.

Keywords:   D. G. Rossetti, double works of art, conceptual metaphors, intersemiosis, Turkish Orientalism, Biblical Orientalism

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