Sir Tristram and La Belle Yseult Drinking the Love Potion

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1867
Model: Jane Burden Morris


◦ Fredeman, Correspondence, 72. 30, 31, 35, 41.

◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 114.

◦ Sewter, DGR's Designs for Stained Glass, 422.

◦ Sharp, DGR: A Record and a Study, 161-162.

◦ Stephens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 70.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, 114-115.

◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 41-42.

Scholarly Commentary

Production History

This work probably began as a design for a stained glass window, one of two designs for the series illustrating “The Story of Tristram and Yseult” from Malory. The other panel was The Fight of Sir Marhaus. These panels were “commissioned by Walter Dunlop, for the decoration of the entrance hall at Harden Grange, Bingley” ( Sewter, DGR's Designs for Stained Glass, 422 ). They later passed to the Bradford City Art Gallery.

The watercolour was executed later, in 1867, and purchased by T. H. McConnell. In May 1872 when McConnell asked DGR to help him sell it, DGR wrote to James Leathart, describing the picture as one of his best (see Fredeman, Correspondence, 72. 30, 31, 35, 41 ). Leathart bought it.


On a loose leaf from one of his notebooks DGR wrote out the following text, which might have served the picture for a descriptive epigraph: “How Sir Tristram fetched La Belle Isoude out of Ireland to be King Mark's wife of Cornwall; and how in the ship, by misadventure, they two drank a love-drink, & so each loved other to their life's end.”

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s200.raw.xml