Portrait of Miss Alexa Wilding

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1879
Model: Alexa Wilding

Scholarly Commentary


Unrecorded in the literature until its sale in 2008, this is a very late portrait of one of DGR's favorite models. In the records of Barbizon House, where the drawing was once held, it is listed with the title Desdemona, reflecting the similarity of the pose in this picture to the pose taken in the studies for the unexecuted oil of Desdemona's Death Song (see Surtees, Catalogue Raisonné, 150-151). In the latter the pose is to the left, however, where it is to the right in this drawing. In fact, this picture is probably not a study at all, but an independent portrait. The pose was one that DGR favored, with the woman facing either to the left or to the right (see for example the 1865 photograph of Jane Morris posed in this fashion to the right as well as the chalk drawing for Michael Scott's Wooing, which is also posed to the right).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: sa935.raw.xml