Victorian Art & Design
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882

Rossetti was very upset by the attacks on the Pre-Raphaelite paintings in 1850 and 1851. He decided not to exhibit again. In 1854 he started a painting called Found. He tried to use Pre-Raphaelite methods for it but never managed to finish it. He turned to water colours of medieval subjects, like The Wedding of St. George in the Tate. In 1859 Rossetti returned to oils with Boccia Baccata. It was the first of a series of half lengths of beautiful women. The Beloved in the Tate differs from the other paintings by having more than one figure. 
Rossetti painted Beata Beatrix, shown on the left, in memory of his dead wife Lizzie Siddal, the model for Millais' Ophelia. She died of an overdose of laudanum in 1862. The painting shows her as Dante's beloved, Beatrice. A dove brings her a poppy which is a symbol of death. 
 In 1856 Rossetti did a watercolour of Dante's Dream with Lizzie as the model for the dead Beatrice. In 1871 he did another Dante's Dream in oils. This is shown below. The ground is scattered with poppies as Dante looks in a dream at the dead Beatrice. This time the model for Beatrice was Janey, the wife of William Morris. In the 1870s Janey was Rossetti's favourite model. His last painting of her was The Daydream.

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