Art History at a Glance
La Ghirlandata is one of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti's more decorative paintings. It depicts a beautiful red-haired woman - modeled by Alexa Wilding - frozen in the act of playing an ornate harp. Her hands are poised in a gesture that captures their artful grace. Two angelic girls (it is interesting to note that May Morris - the daughter of William and Jane Morris - was the model for both faces) border the woman. The garland of flowers that appears in the upper left side of the work inspired the title of the painting. Composed of glorious roses and honeysuckle blossoms, this garland is more than a pretty bouquet. Indeed, there is some suggestion that these roses and honeysuckles may allude to desire and passion, as they did in Venus Verticordia, another of Rossetti's paintings.
Related Works of Art
Compare and contrast La Ghirlandata with Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Venus Verticordia.
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.