The Beloved

Alternately titled: The Bride
Alternately titled: The King's Daughter

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1865-1866; 1873

Physical Description

Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 32 1/2 x 30 in.
Signature: monogram
Date on Image: 1865-66
Note: The monogram and date are inscribed at lower left.

Production Description

Production Date: 1865-1866; 1873
Exhibition History: Arundel Club Feb. 21, 1866; R.A., 1883 (no.297); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Grand Loan Exhibition, 1886 (no.843); Manchester, Royal Jubilee Exhibition, 1887 (no.700); R.A., Winter 1906 (no.117); R.A., 1973 (no.319); Tate 1984 (no.133)
Patron: George Rae
Original Cost: £300
Model: Marie Ford
Note: Marie Ford (wrongly called Miss Mackenzie by WMR) sat for the Bride.
Model: Ellen Smith
Note: The bridesmaid in the left foreground is Ellen Smith.
Model: Gabriel
Note: A mulatto girl, who appears in some of the sketches for this work, was eventually replaced by the little negro boy during the painting of the picture.
Model: Keomi
Note: The model for the figure on the right was Keomi, a gypsy, and paramour of Fredric Sandys.
Repainting: 1873
The painting was retouched in 1873, a repainting operation that including the replacement of the foremost figure, a brown mulatto girl, with a little negro boy.


Current Location: Tate Gallery
Catalog Number: 3053
Archival History: George Rae; Tate 1916

Scholarly Commentary

Production History

This is the repainting of the original oil completed in 1866. Rossetti substantially modified the original oil in 1873, work that concluded with this finished oil now displayed at the Tate. No reproduction of the original state is known to exist; however, Rossetti commissioned a photograph of the work while repainting was underway.


The negro boy is a clear borrowing from Manet's Olympia . DGR saw the picture in Manet's studio during his 1864 trip to Paris.


The painting represents the bride of the Bible's Song of Songs unveiling for her lover. The pose identifies the viewer with Solomon and thus turns the picture into a study of art's erotic structure and function.


The Beloved
Copyright: ©Tate Gallery, London 2001

Included Text

My beloved is mine and I am his.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:

For thy love is better than wine.
She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of

needlework: the virgins that be her fellows shall

bear her company, and shall be brought unto thee.
Note: These two Biblical texts are inscribed on the frame below the painting.


  1. image

    Delaware Art Museum print.
  2. image

    Mariller, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial , 140.
  3. image

    Gowans and Gray, Masterpieces of DGR , 32.
  4. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , plate 263.
  5. image

    Angeli, DGR con 107 illustrazioni , 135.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s182.rap.xml