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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Pre-Raphaelite painter, designer and poet (1828 - 1882)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) was one of the most original of all Victorian artists. He was named after the medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321), whom he later adopted as his role model. Rossetti attended the Royal Academy Schools and became a founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Rossetti virtually stopped exhibiting in public after 1850 in response to negative criticism of his work. Nevertheless his magnetic personality continued to attract a lively circle of likeminded friends, artists and patrons. In the 1850s he met Edward Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898) and William Morris (1834 - 1896) – often called the second generation of Pre-Raphaelites. They shared an interest in medieval subjects of chivalry and romance.

In his middle years Rossetti created vivid watercolours and intricate drawings on themes of love and morality. The paintings of mysterious female figures for which he is most famous emerged in 1859. Rossetti’s best known models were Elizabeth Siddall (1829 - 1862), Jane Morris (1839 - 1914) and Alexa Wilding (1847 - 1884). He used colour, design and symbolism to convey ideas of female virtue, beauty, sensuality, love, death and destiny. Between 1868 and his death in 1882, despite ill health, Rossetti produced many of his largest and most powerful paintings, including the Walker Art Gallery’s ‘Dante’s Dream’. These late works influenced the Symbolist artists of the next generation.

Rossetti exhibited eight works at the Liverpool Academy between 1858 and 1864. Liverpool collector George Rae (1817 - 1902) was one of his most important patrons.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker, Previous owner
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1828-05-12
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Died
    1882-04-09
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Kent: Birchington
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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