"How They Met Themselves"

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1851-1864
Subject: “A pair of lovers meet their doubles, outlined in light, in a wood at twilight—a sure presage of death” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, 74 ).


The Pre–Raphaelites [Tate 1984], 254.

◦ Sharp, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 136-139

◦ Stephens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 32.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 74 (no. 118).

Scholarly Commentary


The scene of this haunting work is medieval and the woodland setting perhaps recalls specifically Dante's “selva oscura”.

Production History

“Executed for Boyce during the artist's honeymoon in Paris (1860) to replace an earlier pen and ink drawing (1851), either lost or destroyed, of the same subject . . . . Called by Rossetti the ‘Bogie drawing’, it illustrates the legend of the Doppelgänger which had fascinated him since childhood ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 74 (no. 118)).


Grieve's comments on the picture's art historical relations, both contemporary and historical, are useful (see The Pre–Raphaelites [Tate 1984], 254 ).


The picture may be usefully compared with various of DGR's literary works, perhaps the “Willowwood” sonnets in particular.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s118.raw.xml