King Arthur and the Weeping Queens

Alternately titled: The Palace of Art

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1856-1857


◦ George Layard, Tennyson and his Pre-Raphaelite Illustrators, 49-65.

◦ Jan Marsh, “Hoping you will not think me too fastidious: Pre-Raphaelite Artists and the Moxon Tennsyon”, JPRAS 2:1 1989 11-18

◦ WMR, Family Letters, vol. 1, 190.

◦ Sharp, DGR: A Record and a Study, 107-112.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 49 (no. 84).

Scholarly Commentary


The drawing was created for Edward Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's Poems (1857), glossing lines 104-108 of Tennyson's “The Palace of Art”. It is one of a pair of designs he made for this poem, the other being the “St. Cecilia” drawing.

Sharp (page 111) makes the acute observation that the drawing represents “not the Avalon of legend, but the Avalon of the artist, sad with the gloom of a strange land and a strange doom”. In this respect the drawing seems closely related to DGR's superb 1856 watercolour The Blue Closet and the poem that William Morris wrote in late 1856 to illustrate the picture.

Production History

DGR executed the drawing in late November 1856 and was working on the engraver's proof in late December (see Fredeman, Correspondence 56. 52, 62). Dalziel was the engraver.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s84.raw.xml