Monna Rosa

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1867
Model: Mrs. F. R. Leyland


◦ Fredeman, Correspondence, 67.85.

◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 146-147.

◦ Sharp, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 203.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 113-14 (no. 198).

◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 63.

Scholarly Commentary


This oil painting is sometimes confused with the identically named smaller oil painting exectued in 1862.

Production History

DGR painted this oil for Leyland's wife, of whom it is a portrait. His comments on the painting to Leyland are interesting in various ways: “Mrs Leyland's picture is much advanced and in every way much altered, as I have again had it considerably enlarged! To begin a fresco as a pocket miniature seems to be my rule in art. The picture is now 29 X 21 inches sight measure . . . . I have now given the figure a flowing white and gold drapery, which I think comes remarkably well and suits the head perfectly. I think I cannot do better than call the picture again Monna Rosa, and adopt a quotation from Poliziano, which fits it happily:

Con manto d'oro, collana ed anelli,

La piace aver con quelli

Non altro che una rosa ai sua capelli.

Thus the lady, richly dressed, is cutting a rose to put in her hair, & the treatment of the figure is accounted for” (see DGR's letter of June 18, 1867, in Fredeman, Correspondence, 67.85 ).

Fredeman's Rossetti Cabinet includes a small pencil study for the work.


DGR translated the quotation from Poliziano into both French and English.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s198.raw.xml