The Arabian Nights Illustrations

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1840


◦ WMR, Family Letters, vol. 1, 86.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 1 (no. 7).

Scholarly Commentary


DGR expended a good deal of effort on illustrations for this favorite early work, which he knew in the Lane translation (published in 1839). Fredeman says that DGR originally made a series of fifteen drawings, one of which is lost. These surviving fourteen correspond to the single drawing that WMR gave to Charles Aldrich plus the “Thirteen sketches; figures in eastern costume” that Surtees identifies (see Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 2 ). Four other drawings associated with Lane's translation are known, however. One is a copy that DGR made directly from one of the sketches in Lane. The other three include a head resembling Sinbad in a small sketch of Four Heads, plus a Queen Budoor and a Turk with Scimitar.

Textual History: Composition

The drawings date from 1840, a year after the publication of Lane's famous translation.


See “The Arabians”, in Lane, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, II. 78-216

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s7.raw.xml