Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: Coloured chalks on paper
Dimensions: 47 x 22 in.
Frame: 8.5 x 8.25 x 1.5 in.
Signature: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date on Image: 1880
Other production information determined from the object: The title is inscribed on the image.
Note: Signature and date are inscribed at lower left.

Production Description

Production Date: 1880
Exhibition History: London, Barbizon House, 1922 (no.27); Montreal, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Alfred Hitchcock. The Exhibition, November 2000 - January 2001; Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Blue Bower. Rossetti in the 1860s , February - May 2001; Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Alfred Hitchcock. The Exhibition, June - September 2001
Model: Jane Burden Morris


Archival History: William Graham Esq.; Christie's sale April 3, 1886 (no.100); his daughter, Lady Horner (purchased on her behalf by Agnew, Robson & Co.); at Barbizon House by 1922; Jane Benachi; Christie's sale October 20, 1970 (lot 165); Private Collection (purchased on their behalf by the Stone Gallery, Newcastle); Peter Naham at Leicester Galleries

Scholarly Commentary


In her Catalogue Raisonné Virginia Surtees lists only one version of this subject in coloured chalks, which had been seriously damaged and restored in 1962. However, she and H.D. Lyon have both confirmed that this is not the drawing mentioned in her catalogue as number 233c. A letter from the artist to Henry Treffry Dunn on February 17, 1880 mentions a “chalk work” of Proserpine to be completed for William Graham, but it is unknown if this is the work to which he referred. It is likely, however, that this is the "crayon replica" mentioned by Marillier in the appendix of DGR: An Illustrated Memorial (no. 260).


Copyright: Courtesy of Peter Nahum at Leicester Galleries:

Included Text

  • Lungi è la luce che in sù questo muro
  • Rifrange appena, un breve istante scorta
  • Del rio palazzo alla soprana porta.
  • Lungi quei fiori d'Enna, O lido oscuro,
  • Dal frutto tuo fatal che omai m'è duro.
  • Lungi quel cielo dal tartareo manto
  • Che quì mi cuopre: e lungi ahi lungi ahi quanto
  • Le notti che saràn dai dì che furo.
  • Lungi da me mi sento; e ognor sognando
  • Cerco e ricerco, e resto ascoltatrice; 10
  • E qualche cuore a qualche anima dice,
  • (Di cui mi giunge il suon da quando in quando,
  • Continuamente insieme sospirando,)—
  • “Oimè per te, Proserpina infelice!”
Note: Rossetti's sonnet Proserpina is inscribed in Italian on a cartouche at the upper right.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: sa901.s233.rap.xml