Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 9 (no. 39).
The drawing is DGR's only known illustration for one of his favorite
The text is Book IV. 779-788, which describes the moment when Henry VI, King of Sicily (1165-1197),
signals his intention to establish a close alliance with the young Taurello, who left
his ancestral home in Ferrara and took refuge at the Sicilian court, where he flourished, married
Henry's niece Retrude, and eventually returned to Ferrara to take his position at the head
of the Ghibbeline faction. The alliance with Henry is marked by the gift of the “silk glove
of Constance”, Henry's wife, which in the drawing Constance is taking off.
Taurello is depicted with a bow and arrow because he was an avid hunter.
The weapons also subtlely allude to the fact that he was forced into his
flight to Sicily after he had been tricked into a hunting expedition.
See also DGR's sonnet on
where the pivotal place of Browning's poem in the program of the PRB is clear. This drawing is
signed by DGR “To Frederick G. Stephens—from his P. R. bother
Dante G. Rossetti”.