Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 107
Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 78 (no. 125).
DGR conceived the drawing as a frontispiece for his book of translations,
The Early Italian Poets. In late May 1861 he told William Bell Scott that “I am going to make an etching or perhaps two for [the book]” (see
Fredeman, Correspondence, 61. 32
). He got to the work the following October, as Swinburne told Richard Monckton Milnes in a letter of 15 October: “Rossetti has just done a drawing of a female model and myself embracing—I need not say in the most fervent and abandoned style—meant for a frontispiece to his Italian translations”
Lang, Swinburne's Letters
). Two finished versions of the drawing are known, one clearly meant for a title page. The original drawing for the latter copper etching does not survive, but the frontispiece drawing and various studies exist. The publisher in the end took neither image for the book, though proof copies survive, one in the Fitzwilliam Museum, the other at Yale's Beinecke Library.
The drawing was used as the compositional center for the two paintings
known as Love's Greeting.