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Dante Gabriel Rossetti Most Famous Paintings
Dawit Abeza
Dante Gabriel Rossetti Most Famous Paintings

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Most Famous Paintings

Who is Dante Gabriel Rossetti?

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a famous English poet, painter, illustrator, and translator. He was born on 12 May 1828, Rossetti was a staunch member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He used Shakespearean literature, and William Blake's religious work to produce high-quality portraits. His father was a well known Italian scholar of Dante Alighieri.

Rossetti studied at the Royal Academy school of Arts. By the time he was completing his school, he had already translated poems written in Italian to English. In 1848, Rossetti and his friends formed a Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood group. The group lasted for less than a decade. However, Rossetti was greatly affected by the death of his wife in 1862.

He even dedicated a portrait known as Baeta Beatrix to his late wife. The portrait signified the sense of loss he felt when his lovely wife Elizabeth Siddal died. By the time he retired from his career, Rossetti had successfully acquired a collection of rare paintings, and also, he had employed a studio assistant. He died on April 9, 1882. Until today his works are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago among others.

Below are 15 of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's most famous paintings: 

  1. The Girlhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  2. Ecce Ancilla Domini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  3. Monna Vanna by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  4. The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  5. The Beloved by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  6. Astarte Syriaca by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  7. Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  8. The Roman Widow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  9. La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  10. Paolo and Francesca da Rimini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  11. The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  12. Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  13. A Sea-Spell by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  14. Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  15. Baeta Baetix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Artworks

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin was the first oil painting to be exhibited. The painting has P.R.B initials which signify the name of his first group of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The group's main objective was to transform the art and literature in Britain. The painting depicts the apocryphal Christian story.

The narrative shown in the painting of The Girlhood of the Virgin Mary is entirely based on the apocryphal legend rather than other parts of the bible. In this painting, Rossetti uses his work to symbolically foretell and foreshadow other myths and narratives told. The palm painted on the flour represents the Palms Sunday, while number seven represents the Biblical numerology. The crossed trellis represents the cross, and the vine symbolizes the second coming of Christ.

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Ecce Ancilla Domini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Ecce Ancilla Domini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

This painting is one of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's most famous paintings that shows honesty.

By looking at the painting, Mary had doubts about carrying the Son of God in her womb. Her head seems to be thinking of why God chose her and not anyone else. By closely looking at the painting, Mary is in shock, and she can't even notice the presence of the holy spirit bird that will bring in the good news. The painting has four colors.

The primary color is blue which associated with Mary. White color represents purity, while the red painting represents the blood of Christ. The gold/yellow color symbolizes holiness. Some critics did not like how Angel Gabriel's feet appeared to be floating on fire.

The critics made Rossetti decide to never show his work to the public again. However, he would secretly work on this particular painting until 1853, when a Francis McCracken supported it with 50 Euros.

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Monna Vanna by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Monna Vanna by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The painting has a picture of a woman with a feather, that symbolizes a wealthy, sophisticated woman. This piece shows the real female beauty.

The woman in the painting is Alexa Wilding. In the painting, the woman showed there has her head turned to the right of the frame. Her skin is also pale and delicate, and she also has a hard penetrating gaze.

This was the first painting that Rossetti had for wife. In this painting, Alexa plays the character of Monna Vanna, who was found in the 13th-century poetry book called Vita Nuova. through this painting, the brotherhood wanted to show how the real-life is, and not the idealized version. The painting showed that Monna had no wrinkles because the wrinkles were for the poor people, and that is how Rossetti liked it.  

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The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Initially, Rossetti wanted to name this painting Monna Primavera. This painting was undertaken in 1880, This piece has a valuation of 800 Euros. The painting has an image of Jane Morris, who has posed in a seated style besides a sycamore tree.

She has a small piece of honeysuckle on her hand. The sweet-smelling sycamore tree symbolized the love bond for the Victorians. The artist may have included the honeysuckle to show the relationship between the model and the artist. Since Rossetti was also a poet, he had written a poem that had the same title.  

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The Beloved by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Beloved by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The painting symbolizes the Songs of Solomon. In the portrait, the heroine shown in the picture is caught on movement, and she is lifting her veil. She is surrounded by four maidens and an African servant.

Everything else has contrasted with the red color of the hair. The skin tone of the bride is pale. Rossetti painted the picture under the influence of the controversial painting called Olympia. While working on the painting, Rossetti had visited the exhibition Manet, where he was impressed by Olympia's work.

In this painting, Rosseti has paid special attention to the head and clothes are worn by the bride and her bridesmaid. The combination of colors has an imaginable costume of both the Japanese and Peruvian nationals. An abundance of those exotic fabrics, the face of the bride which appears to be a European type dominates the canvas.

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Astarte Syriaca by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Astarte Syriaca by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The portrait was painted in 1877. The portrait is a sensual and elaborate picture that represents the goddess Venus. The model in the picture was Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris.

After the death of Elizabeth Siddall, Rossetti was obsessed with the female figure. In the portrait, Rossetti uses Jane to symbolize Venus Astarte. The icon has a direct gaze, strong stance, sensual perfection and bare shoulders to reveal the strength of a woman's sexuality.

Behind her attendants, there is a crescent moon shining, which symbolically shows her relationship with the cosmos and the immorality associated with her sexuality. Rossetti further accompanies sonnet of the same name to make an illusion of a woman clothed with the sun, thus revealing his perceptions of cosmic power, and the physical appearance of a woman.

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Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Lady Lilith is a portrait created by Rossetti in 1878. The painting was created with oil, watercolor, and gouache. He took Twelve years to work on this painting. Throughout that period, the artist would change the models, until the portrait was redrawn afresh. In this portrait, the woman shown represents Adam's first wife.

The portrait has an image of a pretty girl who is admiring her image in the mirror. The image carries a picture of a beauty who knows her worth. The portrait symbolizes the picture of a woman who knows her worth and is always right.

The painting shows Lilith as a strong woman who is dominating his man. She is wearing a free robe which also symbolizes the freedom of a woman. In the background, white flowers are seen. the flowers symbolize pure love. the red flower in front of symbolizes sleep. The woman who is sitting behind the toilet appears to be angry, but also, she looks strong-willed. Lilith has a long, blonde, luxurious hair that symbolizes the immerse sexuality of a woman.  

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The Roman Widow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Roman Widow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

the portrait shows a beautiful woman who is playing music besides her husband's urn. The painting has a lighter color scheme which is bright. The painting appears to be accurate because it is based on what the Romans wore during sad occasions. There are pink roses that symbolize love, The painting shows the common clothes that were worn by the Romans during the funerals. The painting has a theme that shows the enduring love for those who have departed. Her fingers are lightly bent in an absentminded fashion. 

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La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

La Ghirlandata is a portrait that symbolizes love and beauty. the painting features Alexa Wilding. The painting displays a balanced woman who is in a nearly symmetrical composition. A woman is seen at the center whose figure is secured beneath the drapery layer of floral vegetation. Her luxurious hair associated with sexual attractiveness, the portrait was drowned during the artist's sensual phase.

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Paolo and Francesca da Rimini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Paolo and Francesca da Rimini by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The painting is a watercolor painting done by Rossetti. It was painted in 1855. The drawing is simple and all the colors are generally muted. The painting has three parts, whereby, the left-hand side shows an image of an adulterous kiss. The second part shows how heroes are crowned with Laurels while the final part shows the triptych. The lovers are being blown by a strong wind as it is described in Dante's verses.

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The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

The portrait is set within the landscape of a park. The portrait has two female figures who are seated on the ground playing a musical instrument. There are two women behind dancing. the left model is Marie Spartali.

Her head is turned well in profile. She is wearing a deep pink loose garment with fine white fabric that twisted around the neck. The right figure is wearing a pink dress. Her undergarments are loose-sleeved. She has turned her head away, and has long dark hair which is coiled at the back of her head. the two female figures are showing harmony.

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Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Veronica Veronese by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

This painting was painted by oil in 1872. Lady Veronica wrote rapidly the first notes on a new page. She then takes her violin to make her dream come true. Before she could start singing, she had to remain silent, so that she could listen to an inspiring bird. The green velvet dress has a symbol.

The cage of the bird is well decorated with chamomile which signifies energy adversity. The primroses present represents a youthful appearance. The marriage in the painting shows the figure of nature and soul. The songs of the birds are organic and pure thus inspiring her composition. This painting tries to capture creativity.

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A Sea-Spell by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Sea-Spell by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

A Sea-Spell is an oil painting that was displayed in 1877. The model of this painting is Alexa Wilding, one of Rossetti's favorite models. The painting had an instrument that played like a siren to lure the sailors.

In the portrait, there is a human playing a siren. She is surrounded by seagulls, apple blossoms, and apples. The maiden is playing the harp, titled Ligeia Siren. Rossetti has begun his work in 1875. Rossetti's brother said that the siren proved to be fatal to some fascinated mariners. However, it is believed that Rossetti was helped by an unknown naturalist who helped him in placing the seagulls.

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Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Venus Verticordia is a semi-nude painting that represented the goddess of Venus. The portrait has an image of a young woman who has golden flowing hair, and she is surrounded by pink flowers. The flowers are in a lush green garden. You can see her left breast. The right breast is surrounded by a lush, dark garden. One of her hands is holding an arrow that is directed towards her heart. There are is a butterfly ring surrounding her head.

This is Rossetti's first painting to feature a nude woman. The image of Veronica has an erotic symbol. The roses surrounding her has a sensual metaphor regarding women's genitals. The honey-suckers symbolized sexual passion. The arrow symbolizes the god of desire. The golden apple has Greek mythology which resembles Aphrodite. Butterflies have different traditional meaning like symbolizing the soul of Venus.

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Baeta Baetix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Baeta Baetix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

This painting is one of the many attractive paintings done by Rossetti. The portrait featured his wife Elizabeth Siddal. The portrait is filled with symbolism. Behind the model, there are figures of Dante and Love. The figure of the model is facing upwards with her eyes closed. There is a bird that drops a poppy and symbolizes the messenger of death.

 

Until now, Dante Gabriel Rossetti is recognized by history, since his work is not only inspiring but also provocative. Even though his work was prepared many years ago, many people still admire his famous paintings.

 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Famous Paintings

 

 

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