Christina Rossetti 's An Artist 's Studio

1120 WordsFeb 15, 20175 Pages
Christina Rossetti’s poem, “In an Artist’s Studio” describes an unhealthy relationship between the male artist and his female subjects. The male artist objectifies the female model he uses in the creation of his paintings, and fails to show her true self. He is fixated on fulfilling his desires through her and making his paintings aesthetically pleasing but in the process he risks a loss of his own identity. The first two lines open the sonnet with repetition, emphasizing the artist has one specific subject of interest. “One face” and “One selfsame figure” suggest the artist has difficulties depicting his subject in a realistic manner and describing her physical traits. “One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans” describes the…show more content…
Though this situation sounds negative, Bullen explains the artist has found something beautiful in the process. The artist has found a specific way to portray desire and distress in female beauty, and showcases this in the repetitive paintings along side his obsessive visions of a surface-level relationship with his muse. It is affirmed the artist isn’t deeply emotionally rooted with his subject in the proceeding three lines, “A queen in opal or in ruby dress, / A nameless girl in the freshest summer greens, / A saint, an angel” (Lines 5-7). Rossetti uses overemphasis in lines five and seven when the subject is referred to a queen, saint and angel. In between these lines, “A nameless girl,” signifies someone of unimportance who has high standards associated with her. “Every canvass means / The same one meaning, neither more nor less” suggest the subject wants to be seen as more than just a pretty face. “Neither more nor less” means she would rather not be a subject of art at all if she is only ever depicted as one thing, and that one thing isn’t true to who she is. She has a multitude of layers, and if they are not shown, it would be better to have less than one meaning, none at all. . To the artist, she is there to be of service, not conversation. Several connotations are found within the line, “He feeds upon her face by day and night,” (llefknefne). This line not only
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