Christina Rossetti; Frances Mary Lavinia Rossetti (née Polidori), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, chalk, 1877. 16 3/4 in. x 19 in. (425 mm x 483 mm). © National Portrait Gallery, London. Given by the sitter's brother, William Michael Rossetti, 1895. Primary Collection, NPG 990. Reproduced here by kind permission of the gallery. Rossetti himself was convalescing at this time (see Owens 74), and Christina too was unwell; the mood of both women seems sombre. But, perhaps for these very reasons, the double portrait which Rossetti executed at Herne Bay, in Kent, is haunting. It was one of the works that he kept near him for the rest of his life (see Owens 78), suggesting that he was pleased with the likeness, and with the evident family likeness of his two subjects. This portrait of the two women can be seen hanging on his drawing-room wall behind his visitor, Theodore Watts-Dunton, in Henry Treffry Dunn's watercolour of the room. — Jacqueline Banerjee
Owens, Susan. "The Appearance of Christina Rossetti." Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art. Ed. Owens and Nicholas Tromans. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018. 42-81.
Created 8 January 2018