An introduction to the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) produced some of the most glittering and evocative images of the Victorian era. A member of the influential Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti found inspiration in the works of Dante, Shakespeare and Malory, with many of his paintings depicting scenes from Arthurian legends and tales of medieval chivalry. He was also an accomplished poet, whose verses frequently dealt with the same themes as his paintings.
A notorious womanizer, Rossetti immortalized the women in his life, particularly his wife and pupil Elizabeth Siddal, who died of an overdose in 1862, and later Jane Morris,with whom he had an affair. Representing them as Beatrice, Mary Magdalen, and Helen of Troy, among others, Rossetti created a new ideal of female beauty, far removed from the more traditional aesthetic of the day. His brilliant use of colour and his originality of vision are well illustrated in this ideal introduction to one of the most gifted painters of the nineteenth century.
David Rodgers was formerly Director of the Geffrye Museum in London. He is a part-time curator of the William Morris Society and advisory editor of the Oxford Companion to Western Art. His publication include William Morris at Home (1996).