The Fire Fiend

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1853 January 1
Subject: Thomas Woolner

Scholarly Commentary


This comic representation of Woolner takes off from the legends associated with fire damp in British, and especially Welsh, collieries. Explosions from methane and other gases were ascribed to "fire fiends" lurking in the mines. DGR imagines Woolner cooped in his room, brooding. Woolner's posture distinctly recalls DGR's representation of the narrator of Poe's "The Raven", though here the design is even more claustrophobic.

DGR sent this drawing and the drawing of William Asleep in a letter to Thomas Woolner of 1 January 1853 (see Fredeman, Correspondence, 53.1 ).

The original drawing has not appeared. It was reproduced in 1917 in Amy Woolner's Thomas Woolner R.A. Sculptor and Poet.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: sa849.raw.xml