La Mandolinata

Alternately titled: The Mandolin Player

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: red and black chalk heightened with white, buff paper
Dimensions: 35 1/2 x 27 1/2 in.
Signature: monogram
Date on Image: 1869
Note: Monogram and date located on upper right in a laurel wreath.

Production Description

Production Date: 1869
Exhibition History: B.F.A.C., 1883 (no.70)


Current Location: Unknown (Sold at Sotheby's 15 July 2009, lot12
Purchase Price: 181,250GBP
Archival History: J. Dearman Birchall; Dr. A.J. Armstrong; Mrs. A. J. Armstrong; Mrs. Katherine M. Armstrong

Scholarly Commentary


This is one of many chalk drawings that DGR made as finished works rather than as studies for oils. He grew deeply interested in the chalk medium, which he discusses in a letter to Shields of 27 August 1869 where he refers to this work and another he was doing at the time, Penelope (see Fredeman, CorrespondenceIV. 254-55).


La Mandolinata
Description: La Mandolinata shows an unidentified model at half length playing a mandolin. Her hair is dressed with strands of pearls gathered in an elaborate spiral decoration worn at the side of her head (an ornament seen previously in the artist's oil painting Fiammetta (Private Collection) and Monna Vanna (Tate), each of 1866, and Joli Coeur (Manchester City Galleries) and A Christmas Carol (ex Lord Leverhulme collection), each of 1867, and a again in paintings of the early 1870s). She wears a necklace in the form of stylised pansies and at her wrist a bracelet made in the pattern of flower whorls. On the third finger of her right hand she wears a ring consisting of a pyramid of metal with a stone resting at its centre (as also worn in Monna Vanna). Her dress is of a rich brocade pattern of flowers in red on a white of pale coloured ground, in the Venetian style, and falling from below her shoulders and decorated across her corsage with ribbon bows. On the right side is an architectural form decorated with a wreath of laurel leaves at the centre of which the artist has placed his monogram, while from behind the woman's back there appears further sprays of leaves.” ("Catalogue Note," Sotheby's Victorian and Edwardian Art Sale, 15 July 2009, Lot 12)
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s211.rap.xml