Girl Trundling an Infant

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1853 July
Subject: “Sketch of a girl running down a hill pushing a baby in a wooden cart” ( Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. 23.).


◦ Fredeman, Correspondence, 53. 50 (note).

◦ Marillier, DGR: An Ilustrated Memorial, 43

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, I. 23 (no. 61).

Scholarly Commentary


DGR sent this drawing in a letter to his aunt Charlotte Polidori on 2 September 1853, describing it thus: “It is a recollection from Nature a little girl whom I saw wheeling a baby in just such a barrow. Would it not make a capital picture of the domestic class to represent a half dozen of girls racing the babies entrusted to their care —babies bewildered, out of breath, upset, sprawling at bottom of barrow, &c. &c.?” ( Fredeman, Correspondence, 53. 50 (note).). Quoting that letter, Marillier commented: “A harrowing picture it would have been for mothers.”.

DGR was particularly adept at comical sketches of these kinds. One of the best, and best known, is Christina Rossetti in a Tantrum. Compare as well his comic sketches of Morris—for example, The Bard and the Petty Tradesman— or the drawing of Mrs. Morris and the Wombat.

Production History

According to an entry in George Boyce's diary, DGR gave him a drawing on 22 May 1858 of “a little girl wheeling a child along in a go-cart”.

The status of this work is problematic in the sense that there may be two versions of the drawing. In this respect Fredeman's commentary on DGR's letter to his aunt is useful. He points out that DGR may have made a copy of the original 1853 drawing sent to his aunt, and that it was this copy that Boyce saw and admired in 1858, and that DGR then gave him. The original drawing “was offered for sale in Walford, Wilson & Co.'s 1936 catalogue (item 470, reproduced facing 7” ( Fredeman, Correspondence, 53. 50 (note)).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s61.raw.xml