Beatrice Meeting Dante at a Marriage Feast, Denies Him Her Salutation

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1851-1855
Subject: “The subject. . .represents Beatrice walking in a wedding procession of young bridesmaids into a house for the wedding feast. Dante gazes intently at her as she passes, but she looks haughtily at him; in great distress he leans against the frescoed wall, supported by a man at his side” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. 17.).
Model: Elizabeth Siddal (Elizabeth Siddal sat for the figure of Beatrice.)


◦ Grieve, Art of DGR: Pre–Raphaelite Period, 17-18.

◦ Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti., 172-173.

◦ Fredeman, Correspondence, 48.12.

The Pre–Raphaelites [Tate 1984], 254-255.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 17-18 (no. 50).

Scholarly Commentary


This is the picture that first drew Ruskin's attention to DGR's work when it was exhibited at a winter gallery exhibition in 1852: “a most glorious piece of colour” he called it (see Grieve, Art of DGR: Pre–Raphaelite Period, 17-18.). The subject is one that, in 1848, DGR said he intended to turn into an illustration for his translation of the Vita Nuova (see The First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice).

Production History

In a letter to Charles Lyell in November of 1848 DGR outlined ten different “opportunities for pictorial illustration” he had gleaned from Dante's Vita Nuova (Fredeman, Correspondence, 48.12). He did two versions of this particular scene in watercolour. The first was the picture exhibited in the winter of 1852, the second was a duplicate that DGR began for Ellen Heaton in 1855 but eventually sold to Ruskin. “Disliking the face of one of the bridesmaids, [Ruskin] asked Rossetti to alter it, and on going one day to Chatham Place when the artist was not there found to his dismay that Rossetti had taken the head entirely out, preparatory to painting in a new one. The incident provoked a scolding from Ruskin” (see Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. 17.).


The work illustrates a key passage that comes fairly early in the Vita Nuova .

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s50.raw.xml