'Jane Morris (The Blue Silk Dress)', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Portrait painting of a young woman in a blue dress sat at table

Oil on canvas, dated 1868, 110.5 x 90.2cm, The Society of Antiquaries of London (Kelmscott Manor)

The Latin inscription acknowledges William Morris, but reserves a superlative for Jane herself: 'Famous for her poet husband, and most famous for her face, finally let her be famous for my picture!' It also, however, gives the last word to Rossetti's painting itself.

Letters from Rossetti to Jane Morris indicate that she made the blue dress herself and was involved in the choice of the pose.

The striking success of this portrait perhaps led Rossetti and Jane Morris to embark on the remarkable series of subject pictures that followed it.