‘Sonnet / aan D.G. Rossetti voor zijn portretstudie naar mevrouw Morris’ - Interpretatie en contextualisering van een beeldgedicht van P.C. Boutens | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X


The poet P.C. Boutens was much interested in the poems and artworks of the English Pre-Raphaelite painter-poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He bought and read Rossetti’s books, translated Rossetti’s poetry, and alluded to Rossetti’s artworks in his own poetry. In the ‘Sonnet / aan D.G. Rossetti’, Boutens refers to Rossetti’s portrait studies of Jane Morris. This paper explores the function of the reference to Rossetti’s visual artworks in this poem, and indicates how Boutens’ ‘picture-sonnet’ can be related to international tendencies in the genre of ekphrasis (or ‘Bildgedichten’) around 1900, and to Rossetti’s double works of art in particular. I will show that Boutens placed himself in Rossetti’s tradition with his poem to D.G. Rossetti by choosing the sonnet form, by articulating the attempt to get a glimpse of an eternal soul through the visual representation of a face, and by putting this momentary experience into a permanent, symbolist language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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