Lucrezia Borgia

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1860-61, 1868

Physical Description

Medium: watercolour
Dimensions: 17 x 9 3/4 in.
Signature: monogram
Note: Monogram is located in the lower left corner.

Production Description

Production Date: 1860-61, 1868
Exhibition History: Hogarth Club, c. 1860, (in its original form); R.A., 1883 (no.345)
Repainting: 1868
As Surtees has noted, the original watercolour “depicted a dark-haired, purposeful Lucrezia, attired in heavy robes, her large black eyes directed to the front, washing her hands in a basin having administered a fatal dose of poison to her husband, Duke Alfonso Bisceglie” (Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 1, 77).


Current Location: Tate Gallery
Catalog Number: 3063
Archival History: B.G. Windus; Christie's, Feb. 15, 1868 (lot 201), £73. 10 s.; Frederick Leyland; Purchased by George Rae for £126; Charles Ricketts; Presented by Charles Ricketts to the Tate in the memory of Henry Michael Field, 1916

Scholarly Commentary

Production History

DGR completed the first version of this work in 1860-61, “a little drawing (as good a thing as I ever did on so small a scale)”, as he told Charles Augustus Howell in 1871 (Fredeman, Correspondence, 71.20). At that time he had exectuted a replica nearly twice the size of the original. The latter may well have induced DGR to repaint parts of the first picture along the lines of the replica. In any case, at some point before 1874 DGR replaced the original figure of Lucrezia with “a young woman of less distinction” (see Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 1, 77).


Lucrezia Borgia
Copyright: © Tate Gallery, London 2001


  1. image

    Angeli, DGR con 107 illustrazioni , 107.
  2. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 189.
  3. image

    Phythian, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood , 32.
  4. image

    Hollyer print, Delaware Art Museum.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s124.rap.xml