Dante Gabriel Rossetti, head studies
Ruth Herbert, 1858-59
(study) Lady Lilith,1872 – 1873, thought to be Alexa Wilding
John William Waterhouse - Lamia, 1905.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti reading proofs of Sonnets and Ballads to Theodore Watts Dunton in the drawing room at 16 Cheyne Walk, London, by Henry Treffry Dunn (1882)
Speak! Speak! by John Everett Millais
|—||Kurt Vonnegut (via tierradentro)|
Dante Gabriel Rosetti, sketch for Sir Launcelot’s Vision of the Sanct Grael
Julia Margaret Cameron, Mariana, 1874-75
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal Seated On The Ground
|—||Charlotte Brontë, Villette (via we-other-victorians)|
Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Rossetti sitting to Elizabeth Siddal. 1853
|—||Villette (via lady-dudley)|
Photograph of Elizabeth Siddal, artist, poet, model, muse, and wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Elizabeth Siddal worked in dressmaking and millinery and became a model for several Pre-Raphaelite artists. In the early 1850s she developed a close relationship with Rossetti and became his principal obsession as model, muse and pupil.
She is most famously remembered as the model in John Everett Millais’ Ophelia, where she posed for hours in bathwater that had turned icy. She developed a serious cold afterward and apparently never recovered.
Shy and reserved, kept by Rossetti away from polite society, she was frequently ill. After much hesitation he married her in 1860. The following year she gave birth to a stillborn child and in 1862 she died tragically from an overdose of laudanum. She had probably been suffering from post-natal depression. It is not clear whether her death was an accident or suicide.
Rossetti blamed himself for Siddal’s death. In his grief, he plunged a manuscript of poetry he was working on into her coffin. He then painted the Beata Beatrix as a memorial to her.
By 1869, Rossetti had gone from a Romantic idealist to a balding, middle-aged man having an illicit affair with Jane Morris, the wife of his friend and colleague, his career a shadow of what it had been. His thoughts turned to the buried manuscript of poetry, and at the encouragement of various colleagues, he finally ordered the exhumation of Siddal’s coffin in order to retrieve it.
Rossetti was not present when her coffin was exhumed in the dead of night. Rumor has it that she was perfectly preserved, her hair as red as ever; waist-long when she had died, it had continued growing till it nearly filled the coffin. Rossetti, however, writes about finding worm holes in the manuscript.
The poems were published but did not do well commercially or critically, and Rossetti never got over the fact that he’d had Siddal exhumed. Now addicted to laudanum himself, he attempted suicide by taking an overdose in 1872 but survived. He died twenty years later, a wasted version of his former self.