Support: Ivory wove paper
Sheet: 17.9 x 12.8 cm (7 1/16 x 5 1/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2010.462
Christina and William Rossetti shared a strong emotional bond. Employed as a civil servant, William provided financial stability that allowed Christina to pursue poetry.
The youngest of four children in the artistic Rossetti family, Christina Rossetti lived on the periphery of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, occasionally modeling for her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and submitting her poetry to the brotherhood’s journal, The Germ. Before achieving acclaim as a poet with works such as Goblin Market and Monna Innominata, she briefly considered pursuing a career as an artist. This portrait of her brother William is one of her few surviving drawings. In the spare profile, the figure’s eyes are downcast, as though reading or in private reverie, perhaps in reference to William’s work as a man of letters.
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