Late work

Detail from a portrait drawing of a woman

In the years between 1868 and his death in 1882, Rossetti produced many of his largest and most powerful paintings. These included 'Dante's Dream', the most ambitious work of his career and the extraordinary sequence of pictures for which Jane Morris was the model.

In his final years he suffered increasingly from ill health, largely the result of addiction to chloral hydrate, prescribed to combat his chronic insomnia. Far from displaying signs of weakness, however, Rossetti's late paintings are highly finished and the sense of the model's presence more intense than ever. The symbolic resonances of many of the subjects, involving ideas of reverie and dreaming, of death and remembrance, add to their haunting power.

Rossetti's late works had the greatest impact on the Symbolist artists of the next generation. They remain among the most memorable images in western art.