|Artist||after Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|Published||The Art Journal, London H. Vertue & Co. Ltd. c.1895|
From the 'Art Journal'.
The 'Art Journal' originally opposed the emerging Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with its articles attacking the the movement and its supporter, John Ruskin. When the editor, Samuel Carter Hall, retired in 1880, the Art Journal changed its stance.
Throughout his life Rossetti was fascinated by stories of tragic lovers and illicit love and the works of Dante. Here he illustrates the story of Francesca and her brother-in-law Paolo, from Inferno by the medieval poet. They are condemned to Hell for adultery, although Dante has sympathy for their true love and the cruelty of their death. On the left, Francesca and Paolo embrace. In the centre, Dante and Virgil look with concern to the right, where the lovers, murdered by Francesca's husband, drift through hell in each other's arms.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) was a famed British painter and poet. Born in London, Dante Gabriel Rossetti entered Henry Sass's Drawing Academy in 1841, and by 1845, was a full student of the Royal Academy Schools. In August 1848, he moved with William Holman Hunt to a studio in Cleveland Street and around September of the same year, founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with the aforementioned Hunt as well as John Everett Millais. He was as adept in writing as he was in painting and was largely responsible for the Pre-Raphaelite magazine The Germ, published in 1850. He was a prolific poet, as well as a translator of early Italian Masters, most of which were published in 1861. The sweeping and languid forms of the women he painted in the 1860's became something of an archetype for the Pre-Raphaelite canon. Unfortunately for Rossetti, his decline was as meteoric as his rise. His mental deterioration was accelerated by neurasthenia, insomnia, a chloral hydrate dependency and a form of persecution mania. He spent long periods of reclusion at Jane and William Morris's Kelmscott Manor, and eventually succumbed to chronic nephritis in 1882.