Art History at a Glance
The oil painting The Day Dream was inspired by one of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti's drawings of his beautiful Muse Jane Morris. This drawing depicted Jane sitting in the branches of a tree, and apparently art patron Constantine Ionides was so taken with the image that he commissioned Rossetti to create a painting based on the sketch. Originally, the artist intended to include a poetic reference to Spring in his work, and this idea is confirmed by one of the painting's early titles - Monna Primavera. As Rossetti's composition developed, however, the emphasis changed slightly, and spring flowers were replaced by romantic - and suggestively symbolic - honeysuckle blossoms. Jane Morris's dreamy expression and graceful features complete the mood of reverie that Rossetti sought to express in this compelling painting.
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.