English poet, painter, and dreamer Dante Gabriel Rossetti is one of those legendary figures in Nineteenth century art history. The story of his life and work is compelling, with complications and touches of tragedy and triumph. And while a biography of Rossetti is interesting to read, his art says much more than words ever could about the life of this remarkable artist.
Rossetti worked during the Victorian era, but he was not necessarily a Victorian artist - his paintings were more intensely personal and visionary that those of many of his contemporaries. In his works, we can trace the evolution of his obsessions, from early Pre-Raphaelite inspired images of Medieval knights and ladies, to later paintings that focus almost exclusively on depicting a very specific type of woman.
This "Rossetti" woman is his signature, his artistic trademark. She - in all of her manifestations and permutations - was his Muse. The way in which Rossetti glorified this idealized style of beauty is one of his most memorable legacies. And we can see how she dominated Rossetti's work by looking more closely at some of his paintings. You can learn more about these paintings by clicking on the links above. And if you want to know more about Rossetti, his life, and his work, there are recommended books on the pages of this section.
For more information, see our "artist at a glance" area - it features a brief biography of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
David Rodgers has written this informative and engaging book about the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The book, which is part of the Phaidon Colour Library series, features many of Rossetti's most memorable paintings, including his Beata Beatrix and The Blessed Damozel.
My own belief is that I am a poet primarily, and that it is my poetic tendencies that chiefly give value to my pictures... - Dante Gabriel Rossetti
This lovely book by Andrea Rose captures the essence of Pre-Raphaelite art using a series of images from several artists.