Sister Helen (Illustration to Poem by Rossetti)

WAG 5056


This elaborately detailed pen and ink drawing illustrates 'Sister Helen', a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti began the poem in 1851 and first published it in 1852. He revised and expanded it several times over the next 30 or so years. The narrative of the poem is based on a magical belief that one can destroy the life of an enemy by melting a waxen image of him before a fire. Williams worked in landscapes and genre painting, designed stained glass windows and illustrated many fairy tale books.