The Blessed Damozel (first sketch for background)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: black crayon on gray green paper; red crayon used for figured; white used for the sky
Dimensions: 15 3/4 x 36 1/2 in.
Signature: DGR
Date on Image: 1876
Note: The monogram and date are inscribed at lower centre.

Production Description

Production Date: 1876
Exhibition History: Royal Jubileee Exhibition, Manchester, 1887; Fogg 1946 (no.82)
Patron: Jane Morris
Date Commissioned: 1876
Original Cost: gift
Model: Jane Burden Morris
Note: The two women in the foreground resemble Mrs. Morris.


Current Location: Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University
Catalog Number: 1943. 750
Purchase Price: bequest
Archival History: Mrs. William Morris; May Morris; Kelmscott Manor sale July 19, 1939 (lot 309); Grenville L. Winthrop Bequest; Fogg Museum of Art , Harvard University

Scholarly Commentary


The study is a good example of DGR's later drawing style—far more finished and elaborated than the brilliantly dynamic work he produced (mainly) in the 1850s. It is perhaps significant that DGR gave this work to Jane Morris, who stands behind all of The Blessed Damozel pictures even while Alexa Wilding is the explicit model for the damozel.

Production History

This finished study was completed at the time DGR began work on the oil painting commissioned by Graham.


Both Marillier and Hodgson, two of the earliest commentators, were impressed with this finished study, and it has retained its reputation.


The Blessed Damozel (first sketch for background)
Copyright: ©President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard University

Included Text

  • “Around her, lovers, newly met
  • ’Mid deathless love's acclaims,
  • Spoke evermore among themselves
  • Their rapturous new names.” 40
First Sketch for background of picture “The Blessed Damozel”
Note: Lines 37-40 of the poem are inscribed at centre foreground of the composition.


  1. Ash, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

    (image unavailable)
  2. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 360.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s244g.rap.xml