Study of a Girl with two figures in the background

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Sepia ink on paper

dimensions: 8 1/4 x 3 3/8 inches, 21 x 9.5 cm.

Provenance: Oliver Rossetti, the artist's great nephew.

This drawing is dated by Surtees to circa 1840, although it may have been made a few years later. It is a good example of Rossetti's bold use of pen at this date and also of his sharp observation of people. The two children in the background appear to have been copied from a 17th century Dutch painting, but the foreground girl,.with her low-shouldered early-Victorian bodice was probably drawn from life, perhaps from Maria or Christina, the artist's sisters, who were born in 1827 and 1830 respectively. — Hilary Morgan

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Readers should consult the website of Peter Nahum at the Leicester Galleries to obtain information about recent exhibitions and to order their catalogues. [GPL]