Sweet Tooth

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1862
Subject: “Young woman in a silk dress trimmed with black velvet, seated. three-quarter length, turned to the left eating black grapes which she has taken from the bowl in her left hand and raises to her mouth with her right. She wears a chatelaine at her waist and carries a feather fan; the white lace-edged fichu lying on her knees completes the attire. In the background stands a carved screen, partly papered and decorated with a peacock amongst trees and flowers” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, [237].
Model: Agnes Manetti (Surtees records the model's nickname,“Fatty Aggie.”)


◦ Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 244-245.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 77, [237] (no. 123).

Scholarly Commentary


Surtees quotes from a letter from WMR to R. E. R. Brocklebank (15 July 1904) that accompanied the drawing: “I remember the drawing perfectly well. The only title given to it in the appraisement-list was ‘Woman Eating Fruit’, and I did not know till now that it is called ‘Sweet tooth’. . . . I recollect very well the person from whom this watercolour was painted. She was a Scotchwoman in London, with a handsome pleasing face, more especially a fine profile. She was not of the ‘respectable’ class, nor yet a regular artists' model. Her Christian name was Agnes, and she was known as ‘Aggie’ in my Brother's immediate circle. . . . His principal painting from her (watercolour) is named ‘Monna Pomona’; this ‘Sweet tooth’ is nearly or quite as good” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. [237] ).

Production History

The study for the picture is a drawing not of Agnes Manetti but of Fanny Cornforth. Surtees notes that this drawing “is almost identical with the finished drawing” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. [237] ).

This portrait of Agnes Manetti should be compared with DGR's 1862 drawing and with the representation of her in the Monna Pomona watercolour.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s123.raw.xml