St. Cecilia (Corrected Proof)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dalziel family


Physical Description

Medium: pen, pencil, and body colour
Dimensions: 3 7/8 x 3 1/4 in.
Signature: DGR monogram; DALZIEL SC.

Production Description

Production Date: 1857


Current Location: Fitzwilliam Museum
Catalog Number: P.1979-R
Archival History: Unknown

Scholarly Commentary


This is a progress proof made from DGR's drawing for the illustration to Tennyson's “The Palace of Art” (lines 97-100) in Edward Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's Poems (1857). It is especially important for the elaborate directions DGR added to the proof in pencil—instructions to the Dalziel engravers for modifying the print to DGR's desires. Similar instructions can be seen on the progress proof for the engraving of Sir Galahad at the Ruined Chapel, which was intended for but finally not included in the Moxon Tennyson volume.

DGR's instructions to Dalziel begin with the letter at the top of the proof; this was undoubtedly written last. Three brief notations, two in the left margin and one in the right, were probably made first. Then DGR began the long note below the print dealing with various alterations; it continues (as marked by DGR) along the left margin.


St. Cecilia (Corrected Proof)
Copyright: ©Fitzwilliam Museum

Included Text

Dear Sir. It is greatly improved. Many thanks for so much care. May I beg your further attention to the prints still marked with white & explained in writing also. If, in printing, the figures could still be made rather lighter & the distance rather darker, it would be an improvement.
Very truly yours
D. G. Rossetti
It is necessary to the effect that this ? line be made much darker if possible.
A slight touch of white at the base of the distant fort neath where it joins the water.
The black line all round should be as deep as I have now made it. Could not the broken corner be filled up in the leading? Please attend to this.
In the woman's face the jaw to be quite cut away as far as marked with white; a little to be cut away inside the point of her [?] to make it sharper, & outside the curve where the [?] joins to the neck. The neck has not yet been cut away within the line joining the claviole. Please cut it as much as marked. ? I have put a slight touch of white below the corner of the mouth, which please cut. Everything should be done to thin the bosom. Please cut the light marked up the farther arm as far into the bosom as I have marked as well as the two touches of white above it. The ornament round the throat & arm-pits wants to be much thinner and more delicate, & a black touch below the claviole taken away. The forehead requires a little heightening by cutting away slightly the shadow within its upper line, as marked. Cut quite away the part marked with white crossing the bosom towards the waist. Also remove the double outline of the hands, and cut away the false outer line of the instrument, between the arms as marked. A touch or two to whiten the rose in the hair near the forehead. A little work, as marked, in the angel's hair might still improve it. Please do all I have marked in the soldier's face. Cut away within the surtout & point it more, & make the eyes more drooped & indisinct. Also cut away the division below the lips & apple where marked, & between the corner of the mouth & finger. Cut quite away as marked at the [?] to render the light on the apple, as marked.
Cut away also the curve & part of the double line outside the left hand, & lighten, as marked, at the point of the left elbow, & clean the line of shirt round his left wrist. And cut away completely, as marked, the shadow at the corner of his nose, where the light, & the black, touches on the knuckles of his right hand.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: sa926.s83.rap.xml