Playing–Cards: Knave of Diamonds

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1840 December

Physical Description

Medium: pen and ink and watercolour
Dimensions: 3 3/4 x 2 1/2 in.

Production Description

Production Date: 1840 December


Current Location: Robert K. Black
Archival History: WMR; Mrs. Belcher; K. Gregory

Scholarly Commentary


DGR conceived a set of caricature designs intended to form a pack of comic playing cards. The Knave of Diamonds is portrayed as the Prince Consort ( Marillier 214).


Prince Albert was regarded by many in DGR's circle as possessing conservative taste and favoring German painters in his commissions. For this reason the genius of British art is depicted impaled on the Prince's bayonet. He particularly admired the German Friedrich Overbeck, whose name DGR inscribes on the card. The medallion reading "Half A Crown" that hangs around the Prince's neck is explained by the fact that his official title was Prince Consort rather than King, as Victoria wished.


The image here reproduced from The Bookman, is from an 1846 lithograph.



  1. image

    The Bookman (June 1911).
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s4c.rap.xml