A Christmas Carol

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1867
Model: Ellen Smith


◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 146

◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 81

◦ Sharp, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 161-162

◦ Stephens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 70.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, 112-13.

Scholarly Commentary


The picture is a quotidian image of a Beatricean condition, a fact underscored in the legend affixed to the frame of the oil painting itself. The young woman is singing a song of Christ's birth. As with all of DGR's pictures in which musical instruments figure as part of the action, a transcendental order of reality is being represented as impinging on the scene.


The frame of the picture carries a legend that is taken from a carol DGR had incorporated many years before in a little booklet of carols he edited and transliterated from Middle English sources. We find a copy of this legend written into a notebook DGR was using at the time he was executing the picture, i.e., 1867.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s195.raw.xml