Rossetti Studies

Often I find that I prefer an artist’s studies to the completed work.  Perhaps it is that they are raw beginnings, a hint of what is to come.  Although usually I feel that a certain emotional quality is captured in the face of the model and somehow lost in translation when recreated in oils.

Head and shoulders for Andromeda, intended for Rossetti’s ‘Aspecta Medusa’ (never completed). Model:  Alexa Wilding. Also see The Mysterious Alexa Wilding via The Kissed Mouth.



Study for the Virgin Mary inEcce Ancilla Domini!  The artist’s sister, poet Christina Rossetti, served as a model.

Study for 'Ecce Ancilla Domini! (The Annunciation)' circa 1849 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882

Elizabeth Siddal appears as a model in this study for The Return Of Tibullus to Delia:


Study for ‘The Bride’:

Study for 'The Bride' 1865 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882


Study for The Bower Meadow:



Study for Desdemona:



A later study for Desdemona:



Fanny Cornforth in a study for Found:


Two studies for Beata Beatrix, which later became a posthumous tribute to Elizabeth Siddal.




3 thoughts on “Rossetti Studies”

  1. Don’t ever tell that to the artist or they will stare at you with daggers in their eyes. Truly!

  2. Dear Stephanie
    I am completely in agreement about the drawings – they are magical and I think they are more beautiful than the finished works (especially Rossetti, much as I like his paintings). The drawings also show what good draughtsmen the Pre-Raphaelites were, which is something that can be overlooked when greeted with the vibrant colour of the paintings. I am currently looking at drawings of Fanny Cornforth by Rossetti and they are stunning.
    Best wishes


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