Risen at Dawn

Alternately titled: Gretchen discovering the jewels

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1865-1880 (circa)


◦ Fredeman, Correspondence 78.161, 78.196.

◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 196.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 149 (no. 253).

Scholarly Commentary


This is DGR's final effort to illustrate Goethe's Faust . In this case one can see how the subject held his interest for so long. This painting clearly relates to his Pandora and, through that work, to Cassandra, Venus Verticordia, and a whole related set of pictures and poems in which a female figure focuses a severe judgment on a male-dominated world. The figures can be threatending, like Lilith, or victims, like Gretchen in this and the other Faust pictures, or ambiguous, like “Jenny”.

For further commentary see “Faust: Mephistopheles Outside Gretchen's Cell”.

Production History

The idea to illustrate this scene was in DGR's mind as early as 1868, when he executed a drawing in coloured chalk. A preliminary sketch seems to have been made a few years earlier. DGR undertook the oil painting in 1878 for Leonard Rowe Valpy after Valpy decided against purchasing DGR's Dante's Dream. Evidently the painting was already begun when DGR proposed in August that Valpy consider some other works in lieu of the rejected large Dante picture (see Fredeman, Correspondence 78.161, 78.196 ).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s253.raw.xml