|Artist||Dalziel Brothers after Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|Published||[London: Edward Moxon, 1857]|
|Dimensions||Image 94 x 79, Sheet 215 x 150 mm|
A beautifully detailed illustration to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Lady of Shalott'. From the 1857 edition of 'Tennyson's Poems', usually known as the 'Moxon Tennyson', after its publisher Edward Moxon. Tennyson was much-admired by the Pre-Raphaelite artists. They sought inspiration from poetry and, in common with Tennyson is particular, favoured the themes and legends of the medieval period. The publication was illustrated with 30 wood engravings designed by Rossetti, Millais and Hollman Hunt, in addition to 24 by four other Victorian artists. Tennyson disapproved of a number of the Pre-Raphaelites' illustrations, thinking they exercised too much artistic licence, however, the intricacy of the Brotherhood's works here saw them largely responsible for a transformation in English wood engraving, a beginning of a golden age of the technique.
The Brothers Dalziel were a highly productive firm of Victorian engravers founded in 1839 by George Dalziel (1815-1902) and his brother Edward Dalziel (1817-1905). They were later joined by John Dalziel and Thomas Dalziel (1823-1906). All were sons of the artist, Alexander Dalziel of Wooler in Northumberland. The Dalziel brothers worked with many important Victorian artists, producing illustrations for the burgeoning magazine and book market of the period. Among the artists they worked with were Arthur Boyd Houghton, Richard Doyle, John Gilbert, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and James McNeill Whistler. They cut the illustrations to Edward Lear's 'Book of Nonsense' (1862), Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass'. They also produced independent ventures, most notably 'The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ', (Routledge, 1864), illustrated by Millais, and contributed humorous cartoons to magazines such as 'Fun', which George and Edward acquired in 1865.
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.