This picture is an emblematic interpretation of the
the same title
that DGR wrote in 1847. At that point, 1847-1848, the picture is
clearly part of a double work of Rossettian art. Later, when DGR reimagined the sonnet for
The House of Life
, the picture lost most of its significance for the sonnet.
DGR executed the drawing with this title in July 1848 and he began but never finished an
oil version, which he worked at for three or four months (see
I. 99). The drawing depicts a scene that has no imagistic relation to the sonnet. The
picture shows a priest walking with a pious young woman, with Mephistopheles lurking in the
rear. The drawing was done in July 1848 and has much in common with DGR's
drawings of that period.
The drawing recalls
Faust but is not specifically an illustration of that work. It operates more as an
emblematic illustration of virtue being protected from threatening evil.
Eriko Yamaguchi has identified a pictorial source for this work in Camille Bonnard's
Costumes Historiques (1829). The priest's garb was designed after a plate representing a fifteenth-century