Mrs. William J. Stillman

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1869 July-August
Model: Mrs. Marie Stillman (née Spartali)


◦ Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 279-280.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 197 (no. 519).

Scholarly Commentary


DGR's comment to Jane Morris on his efforts to render Maria Spartali Stillman in a portrait is interesting: “Since she sat for the hands, Miss Spartali has given me two more sittings and I have made three chalk heads of her. The last I think is not unsuccessful, though the two first were completely so. I find her head about the most difficult I ever drew. It depends not nearly so much on real form as on a subtle charm of life which one cannot re-create. I think it would be hardly possible to make a completely successful picture of her, and feel a great deal humbler now when I look at other peoples's attempts. ” Of the other two drawings made at this time, in mid-1869, only one is known. DGR continued his efforts to draw her strikingly beautiful features, most notably perhaps in several 1870 studies for Dante's Dream on the Day of the Death of Beatrice: 9th of June, 1290.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s519.raw.xml