My Lady Greensleeves

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1863 May

Physical Description

Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 13 x 10 3/4 in.
Date on Image: May 1863
Note: The date is inscribed on a label on the back.

Production Description

Production Date: 1863 May
Exhibition History: Fogg 1946 (no.68)
Model: Mrs. W. J. Knewstub
Note: The model for this painting was Mrs. W. J. Knewstub, the wife of Rossetti's assistant.


Current Location: Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University
Catalog Number: 1943.203
Archival History: Thomas E. Plint; Plint Estate Sale June 17, 1865 (lot 124), Bought by Croft, £73. 10 s; Grenville L. Winthrop Bequest, Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University

Scholarly Commentary


The holograph sheet pasted to the back of the picture, in DGR's hand, gives a date for the work as well as a set of verses to accompany it. Surtees printed the verses in her catalogue but, as Professor Ken Daley pointed out to me, she incorrectly rendered line 3 (as “band even” rather than “bared arm”).


My Lady Greensleeves
Copyright: Courtesy of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop. Photo Credit: Rick Stafford. Image copyright: © President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard University.

Included Text

  • She bound her green sleeve on my helm
  • Sweet pledge of love's sweet meed
  • Warm was the bared arm round my neck
  • As well she bade me speed;
  • And her kiss clings still between my lips
  • Heart's heat and strength at need.
Note: This fragment of a ballad by Rossetti is inscribed on the back in his hand.


  1. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 228.
  2. image

    Gowans and Gray, Masterpieces of DGR , 31.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s161.rap.xml