'The Tune of Seven Towers', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Scene with central female figure seated playing a musical instrument on her lap

Watercolour on paper, painted 1857, 31.4 x 36.5cm, Tate. Purchased with assistance through the National Art Collections Fund from Sir Arthur Du Cros Bt and Sir Otto Beit 1916

The heraldic device of seven towers is seen on the canopy (top centre), and on the pennant (left). The pennant also includes the sun, moon, lily and rose, symbols of male and female, purity and passion. Orange blossom, suggesting marriage, is being placed on the bed.

The woman resembles Elizabeth Siddal and the details may have autobiographical meaning as at this time Rossetti was hesitating over marriage to her.