Mariana in the South

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. 86).

Scholarly Commentary


The drawing was created for Edward Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's Poems (1857), glossing lines 25-36 of Tennyson's “Mariana in the South”. Although the poem's text has it that Mariana is kneeling at a shrine of the Blessed Virgin, DGR represents her kissing the feet of the crucified Christ. More interesting still, the mirrored image of Mariana's face noted in the poem is referenced symbolically rather than realistically in the drawing. The result is that the drawing itself becomes the mirror of the beauty Mariana is lamenting. DGR's management of this transference is very deft.

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, 59). Linton was the engraver. As with Linton's other engraving for DGR's Moxon drawings, which he made for the Sir Galahad at the Ruined Chapel design, a proof of his engraving for this drawing also survives.

In 1862 DGR made a watercolour of this design which James Leathart was going to purchase. DGR was asking £50 for the picture. It was eventually bought by George Rae (see Fredeman, Correspondence 62. 56 ).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s86.raw.xml