Art History at a Glance
Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting Astarte Syriaca was inspired in part by ancient myth and religion. The female figure that dominates this work of art represents Rossetti's interpretation of Astarte, the Phoenician goddess of love and fertility (incidentally, Astarte shares similarities with the more familiar Classical goddess Aphrodite). 'Stunner' Jane Morris, the beautiful wife of designer William Morris, was the model for this massive, awe-inspiring goddess. In addition to the goddess Astarte, there is also a pair of winged figures in the background, both of whom stare at the sky, gazing in wonder at the image of an eclipse.
David Rodgers has written this informative and engaging book about the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The book, which is part of the Phaidon Colour Library series, features many of Rossetti's most memorable paintings, including his Beata Beatrix and The Blessed Damozel.