Eliza Polidori

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1856 (circa)
Model: Eliza Polidori


◦ Gowans and Gray, Masterpieces of Rossetti, 12.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 181 (no. 410).

Scholarly Commentary


DGR made this oil portrait of his aunt Eliza (1810-1893), his mother's youngest sister, for his aunt Charlotte. It was an exchange for the watercolour of Hist! Said Kate the Queen, which DGR wanted to sell to William Marshall (1796-1872), who had already bought several of DGR's pictures. He promised to paint the portrait “as soon as she comes to town” (see his letters of 15 and 19 May 1856 to his aunt Charlotte Fredeman, Correspondence, 56.37, 38 ). Aunt Eliza had a reputation as a formidable character—DGR referred to her as his “maniac aunt” in a letter to William Bell Scott of 7 December 1854. At that time she had just enlisted to join Florence Nightingale's nursing corps in the Crimea ( Fredeman, Correspondence, 54. 72 ).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s410.raw.xml