As the title of this essay suggests, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's exile took place in time as well as in space; however it was not a physical one but one of the mind. The sense of rootlessness due to his double origins led the poet-artist to strive to achieve the symbiosis of the time periods and cultural influences he felt close to. In examining a corpus of 62 works produced between 1849 and 1880 , it appears that these are divided in almost equal proportion between Italian and English inspiration . The predominance of one source over the other alternated, and thus four distinct phases can be observed. The early part of the painter's career shows an endeavour to identify himself : first as an Italian Quattrocentist until 1856, then as a predominantly British Victorian artist during the "Jovial Campaign" of 1857. After 1859 he went back to Italian sources but slowly adapted them until they reflected his dual identity. During the last ten years of his life as an artist, Rossetti alternated Italian and English titles for his paintings, but it seems that his inspiration had come to rely less and less on either nation's literary background. He had managed to create for himself the dream-world that incorporated the essence of both.

Last modified 27 February 2017