The Gate of Memory

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1857
Repainting: 1864


◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 47, 82.

◦ Radford, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 8.

◦ Sharp, DGR: A Record and a Study, 160-61.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné vol. 1, 56-57 (plate 136).

◦ Wood, Drawings of DGR, [99] (plate XL).

Scholarly Commentary


Surtees aptly comments: “On the right a prostitute stands at dusk under an archway, watching a group of dancing children and recognizes herself as once she was in the figure of a seated, flower-crowned child. . . . Fine houses with lighted windows suply the background to this sombre and poignant drawing”. The watercolour is of course closely related to the poem “Jenny” and the double work Found.

Production History

DGR's watercolour “The Gate of Memory” was painted in 1857 and repainted in 1864. There is a pencil drawing of the scene, and a study for the main female figure.


The picture references a scene in William Bell Scott's poem “Maryanne”, as the couplet inscribed below the pencil drawing shows: “Come all ye pretty maidens/ And dance along with this.” Given the subject of the picture, the text is darkly ironical.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s100.raw.xml