Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Rossetti is most famous for founding the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood along with William Holman Hunt and John Millais. Rossetti's "Girlhood of Mary the Virgin" was the first painting to bear the mysterious initials "PRB" after his signature in 1849. It was not until a year later that Rosetti made public the meaning of the initials. A firestorm of controversy erupted in which Rosetti and his fellow Pre-Raphaelites were accused of being romanists, blasphemers, and atheists. He was a poet as well as a painter, and love was usually Rossetti's theme in both poetry and painting. Rossetti was an Italian patriot exiled from Naples for his political activity and a Dante scholar who became professor of Italian at King's College, London, in 1831. Rossetti met Lizzie Siddal and fell in love. (it was Lizzie who modelled for Rossetti and many of his Pre-Raphaelite circle; she appears as the drowned "Ophelia" in the painting by J.E. Millais) After an engagement lasting nearly ten years, Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal were married barely 20 months before she died from a self-administered overdose of morphia on February 10, 1862. (She had given birth to a still-born child and never recovered emotionally). Its a sad footnote that the man who painted these wonderful works spent his last years as an invalid recluse after his beloved wife died.

"La Ghirlandata"

"Lady Lilith"

"Venus Venticordia"

"The Beloved"


"Joan of Arc Kisses the Sword of Liberation"

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