St. Elizabeth of Hungary Kneeling with her Companions

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1852 (circa)


◦ Grieve, The Art of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Watercolours and Drawings of 1850–1855

◦ Marsh, Pre-Raphaelite Women. Images of Femininity, 36.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 224 (no. 691).

◦ Wildman, DGR 1828-1882: An Exhibition, Tokyo 1990, 160-61 (plate 119).

Scholarly Commentary


Previously unidentified, we now know that the drawing represents a scene from the later life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231). In 1221 she was married to Louis IV of Thuringia and they had three children. When Louis died in 1227, Elizabeth took a vow of celibacy and obviated the possibility of a marriage to the emperor Frederick II. Legend has it that her reunciation of a worldly life led to severe punishments at the hands of her confessor, the Inquistor Konrad of Marburgh, including separation from her children. Her pious life lent itself to the interests of the early PRB: Millais has an 1848 drawing of St. Elizabeth Washing the Feet of Pilgrims and James Collinson produced a large The Renunciation of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1848-1850).

See also DGR's related study, a drawing of Elizabeth Siddal.


Grieve argues that DGR was drawn to this by Charles Kingsley's novel The Saint's Tragedy (1848), which was the inspiration for Collinson's 1850 painting The Renunciation of the Queen of Hungary.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s691.raw.xml