Dante Gabriel Rossetti,  Paintings

Hanging the Mistletoe

I’ve seen this painting titled as “The Farmer’s Daughter”, “Hanging the Mistletoe”, and “Girl Tying Up Mistletoe”.   Painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Rossetti Archive states that the finished painting has the date “Xmas 1860” on the frame.

Mistletoe:  its history, meaning and traditions

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4 Comments

  • Helena Joyce

    I have done some further research into the “Hanging the Misteltoe” picture. Apparently there are two versions. An oil painting dated 1862-65 and a chalk drawing. The chalk drawing was done in 1860 and has that date inscribed on the frame. It was originally a study for the oil but Rossetti worked on it later and then gave it to his friend George Boyce on 6th December, 1868. My own theory is that Fanny Cornforth sat for the study (the chalk drawing) sometime in 1860 – exactly when I don’t know, but the subject of the picture suggests it would have been around Christmas time – probably late October/November. The Rossettis spent that Christmas with the Morrises at “The Red House” in Kent, together with the Burne-Joneses. All three wives were expecting their first babies at the time. Can’t you just picture them all celebrating the holiday round a blazing log fire in that splendid house while Fanny Cornforth – the girl hanging the mistletoe – is left to spend her Christmas in a dreary boarding house in Lambeth with her drunk and feckless husband, Timothy Hughes? As you might have guessed, I have a soft spot for poor old Fanny C!

  • Valerie Meachum

    Thanks for the insight, Helena! I was thinking that was too early for it to be Fanny, but of course that’s not right at all.

    And that’s an evocative image of our “loyal Elephant” indeed!

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