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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, British (London, England 1828 - 1882 Birchington-on-Sea, England)
Study for "The Blessed Damozel" (First Sketch for Background)
Other Titles
Alternate Title: First Sketch for the Background of "The Blessed Damozel" with groups of lovers
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Black, red, and white chalk on green wove paper, two sheets joined
39.9 x 93 cm (15 11/16 x 36 5/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black chalk, l.c.: [monogram] 1876
  • inscription: lower center, black chalk, in artist's hand: "Around her, lovers, newly met / 'Mid deathless love's acclaims, / Spoke evermore among themselves / Their rapturous new names." / First sketch for background of picture "THE BLESSED DAMOZEL"


Recorded Ownership History
Gift of the artist to Mrs. William Morris; her daughter May Morris; her sale, Hobbs and Chambers, at Kelmscott Manor, July 19, 1939, no. 309; acquired at that sale through Martin Birnbaum by Grenville L. Winthrop, July 1939; his bequest to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number

Standard Reference Number
Surtees 244G

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • John Evan Hodgson, Fifty Years of British Art, J. Heywood (Manchester, England, 1887), pp. 45-46
  • Henry Currie Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: An Illustrated Memorial of His Art and Life, George Bell & Sons (London, 1899), p. 189, no. 270
  • Paintings and Drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites and their Circle, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), no. 82
  • Cecil Lang, The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Circle, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, 1968), pl. 5
  • David Sonstroem, Rossetti and the Fair Lady, Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT, 1970), pp. 23, 24, 63, 175, 178-79, 196, repr. pg. 24
  • Virginia Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882): A Catalogue Raisonné, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1971), no. 244G, pl. 360
  • Marina Henderson, D. G. Rossetti, Academy Editions/St. Martin's Press (London, England and New York, NY, 1973), repr. 63
  • John Bryson and Janet Camp Troxell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Jane Morris, Their Correspondence, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1976), pp. 94, 103, 205
  • Frederick S. Wight, The Potent Image: Art In the Western World from Cave Paintings to the 1970s, Collier Books (New York, NY, 1976), pg. 299
  • Herbert L. Sussman, Fact into Figure: Typology in Carlyle, Ruskin, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH, 1979), pg. 131, pl. 38
  • Maria Teresa Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Disegni, Nuova Italia (Florence, 1982), pp. 21, 41, 42, no. 59, repr.
  • Maria Teresa Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Casa Editrice G. C. Sansoni (Florence, Italy, 1984), no. 470, pl. 72
  • Theresa Byington, "A Technical Study of Five Oil Paintings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 1987), Unpublished, passim
  • Jan Marsh, Pre-Raphaelite Women: Images of Feminity, Harmony Books (New York, 1987), p. 57, fig. 45
  • Alicia Craig Faxon, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1989), pg. 209, pl. 233 (detail illustration)
  • Harrison C. White, Careers and Creativity: Social Forces in the Arts, Westview Press, Inc. (Boulder, Colorado, 1993), pg. 25, repr. pg. 33
  • Elizabeth Prettejohn, Rossetti and His Circle, Stewart, Tabori & Chang (New York, NY, 1997), fig. 46
  • The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Hypermedia Research Archive, website, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1997-
  • Maria Teresa Benedetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Charta (Milan, 1998), no. 470, pl. 74
  • Stephen Wildman and John Christian, Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art / Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1998), under no. 101
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), cat. no. 189, repr. (color)
  • Anne Anderson, "'I thank you so much for thinking me still worthy of making so lovely a present to': Gifts from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Jane Morris", The Journal of William Morris Studies (2015), XXI, no. 3, pp. 4-21, pp. 12, 14, 15, 17, repr. p. 12, fig. 2 (hanging at Kelmscott House), repr. p. 14, fig. 5 (at Kelmscott House)
  • Elizabeth Prettejohn, Modern Painters, Old Masters: The Art of Imitation from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War, Yale University Press (New Haven, 2017), p. 130, fig. 84

Exhibition History

  • Paintings and Drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites and their Circle, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/08/1946 - 06/01/1946
  • A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004
  • Re-View: S426A (Large Niche) #2: The Past and the Present: British Art of the 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/26/2010 - 01/08/2011

Related Works

Verification Level

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