Writing on the Sand

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: watercolour
Dimensions: 10 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.
Signature: monogram
Date on Image: 1859
Note: Monogram and date on lower right.

Production Description

Production Date: 1859
Exhibition History: Newcastle, 1971 (no.32); R.A., 1973 (no.183); Baden-Baden, 1973-74 (no.124); Tate, 1984 (no.226)
Model: Elizabeth Siddal or Ruth Herbert
Note: Elizabeth Siddal or Ruth Herbert may have been the model for the woman.
Model: Sir Richard Holmes
Note: The head of the man is supposed to have been taken from Sir Richard Holmes, later Librarian at Windsor.


Current Location: British Museum
Catalog Number: 1886-6-7-14
Purchase Price: £26. 9 s.
Archival History: Probably Ruth Herbert; Sold at the Christie's auction of May 25, 1886, (lot 120) for £25. 4 s.; Colnaghi; British Museum

Scholarly Commentary

Production History

The paper was originally 10 x 8 1/4 in. and then it was mounted on a larger sheet.


Writing on the Sand
Copyright: © Licensed by the Trustees of the British Museum


  1. image

    Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial , 219.
  2. image

    Radford, Dante Gabriel Rossetti , 5.
  3. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 165.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s111.rap.xml