Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848
Model: probably Fanny Cornforth


◦ Doughty, A Victorian Romantic, 62.

◦ Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism, 75.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 7 (no. 31).

Scholarly Commentary


The picture, DGR's first extant attempt at oil painting, was begun in 1848 as a technical exercise in still-life carried out under Ford Madox Brown's instruction. Hunt's account is that DGR added the figure of the sleeping woman in the background many years later.

The picture resides in the Bancroft Collection, Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, Delaware, which also has a print reproduction of the work. The picture came into the Delaware collection in 1898 from Fanny Cornforth's possession. “A note in the Bancroft Collection records that it belonged to Fanny Cornforth and was sold by ‘Mr. Schott’ in 1898, adding that it was kept by Fanny to the very last thinking that no one would value or understand it” (see Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 7 ).

Production History

A pencil study for the woman is held in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. It is a sketch of Fanny and thus belongs to 1858 or some time thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s31.raw.xml