'Alexa Wilding', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Portrait drawing of a young woman

Coloured chalks on paper, dated 1873, 53.3 x 38cm, Private collection

Alexa Wilding was one of Rossetti's most frequent models from 1865 onwards. The two became loyal friends, but their relationship never developed the intensity of those Rossetti shared with other frequent models such as Elizabeth Siddal or Jane Morris.

Rossetti thought her impassive beauty particularly suitable for ideal or classicising figures such as '

Rossetti thought her impassive beauty particularly suitable for ideal or classicising figures such as 'Sibylla Palmifera|'.

This drawing, in the coloured chalk Rossetti used from the end of the 1860s, conveys both the elegance and impassiveness that he saw in Wilding's beautiful features.