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Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art King Street 16 June 2015

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Christie's 16 June 2015 London, King Street

Text of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

  • Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist ArtKing Street

    16 June 2015

  • Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite

    & British Impressionist Art

    Tuesday 16 June 2014


    Tuesday 16 June 2014 at 2.30 pm

    8 King Street, St. Jamess

    London SW1Y 6QT


    Friday 12 June 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

    Saturday 13 June 11.00 am - 5.00 pm

    Sunday 14 June 12 noon - 5.00 pm

    Monday 15 June 9.00 am - 8.00 pm

    Tuesday 16 June 9.00 am - 12.00 noon


    James Bruce-Gardyne


    In sending absentee bids or making

    enquiries, this sale should be referred

    to as KEILLER-11148


    UK: +44 (0)20 7839 9060

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    This auction is subject to

    Important Notices,

    Conditions of Sale and

    to reserves.


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    The Triton Collection Foundation

    The Alfred Beit Foundation

    Lady Jane Wellesley

  • 5

    3 Auction Information

    6 Calendar of Auctions

    6 Christies Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite

    & British Impressionist Art Department

    7 Specialists and Services for this Auction

    8 Property for Sale

    160 ConditionsofSaleBuyingatChristies

    163 VAT Symbols and Explanation

    164 Important Notices and Explanation of Cataloguing Practice

    165 Storage and Collection

    166 Salerooms and Offices Worldwide

    168 Christies Specialist Departments and Services

    175 Absentee Bids Form

    176 Catalogue Subscriptions

    179 Index

    f r o n t c o v e r :

    Lot 5

    i n s i d e f r o n t c o v e r :

    Lot 91 (detail)

    o p p o s i t e t i t l e p a g e :

    Lot 59

    o p p o s i t e : Lot 62

    i n s i d e b a c k c o v e r :

    Lot 74 (detail)

    b a c k c o v e r :

    Lot 60



  • 6

    16 JUNE



    8 JULY







    Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite

    & British Impressionist Art AuctionsAUCTION CALENDAR 2015



    Subject to change 13/04/15

    Email. First initial followed by last [email protected] (eg. Peter Brown = [email protected])


    Nicholas H. J. Hall(Auction) Tel: +1 212 636 2122


    Richard Knight (Private Sales)Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2159


    Karl HermannsTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2425



    Peter Brown (Victorian Art) Tel: +44 20 7389 2435Harriet Drummond(British Drawings & Watercolours)Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2278Martin Beisly(Private Sales)Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2468


    Brandon LindbergRosie Jarvie Sarah Hobrough Rosie Henniker-Major Annabel Kishor Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2709Jane BloodTel: +44 (0)12 7062 7024


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    Chlpe WaddingtonTel: +1 212 974 4469


    Romilly CollinsTel: +44 (0)20 77389 2503




    Giulia ArchettiTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2317

    Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite

    & British Impressionist Art Department

  • 7

    Specialists and Services for this Auction


    Victorian Art

    Peter Brown Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2435

    Martin BeislyTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2468

    Brandon LindbergTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2095

    Rosie Henniker-MajorTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2271

    British Drawings & Watercolours

    Harriet Drummond Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2278Rosie JarvieTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2257Sarah HobroughTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2257Annabel KishorTel: +44 (0)20 7389 2709

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    Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2503.



    Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 2658

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    Internet: www.christies.com


    UK: +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    US: +1 212 703 8080

    Internet: www.christies.com



    Internet: www.christies.com


    Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    Fax: +44 (0)20 7389 2869

    Email : [email protected]


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    Fax: +44 (0)20 7389 2869


    Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    Fax: +44 (0)20 7389 2869



    No part of this catalogue may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any form or

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    permission of Christies.


    Peter Brown

    International Head

    Rosie Jarvie


    Martin Beisly

    International Director

    Brandon Lindberg

    Head of Department, London

    Harriet Drummond

    International Head

    Sarah Hobrough


    Rosie Henniker-Major


    Annabel Kishor



    First initial followed by last [email protected] (e.g.Peter Brown = [email protected])

    For general enquiries about this auction, emails should be addressed to the Auction


  • 8

    Few afcionados of Victorian art

    will fail to feel a pang of nostalgia

    as they scan this collection.

    It contains so much that has been

    on the London market during the

    last three decades, things they will

    have noticed in salerooms, galleries

    and fairs, tucked away in their visual

    memories, lost sight of and perhaps

    forgottenuntil now.

    To turn the pages is to take a stroll

    down Bond Street or around St

    Jamess, ticking off the dealers who

    have supplied the treasures they

    illustrate: Agnews, Colnaghi, Spink,

    Peter Nahum, the Maas Gallery,

    Christopher Wood and others.

    But it will be an older Bond Street,

    a different St Jamess. So many of

    these sources have already gone, or

    operate within limits self-imposed

    or dictated by market changes.

    All collections are time-warps,

    evoking a sense of temps perdu,

    and this one is no exception.

    The cultural historian of the future

    who ponders the later stages of

    the Victorian revival will fnd rich

    pickings here for his or her research.

    The two collectors responsible

    have focussed on drawings, partly,

    no doubt, due to availability, but

    also, one senses, because they were

    more in keeping with their taste.

    Not that they totally shunned

    oil paintings. They fell for three

    atmospheric studies of fgures in

    interiors - by Albert Ludovici

    (lot 38), E.J. Gregory (lot 39), and

    E.H. Fahey (lot 37) and could not

    resist two winsome little girls by

    Sophie Anderson (lots 40-41), the

    sort of picture that delighted Lewis

    Carroll, who owned more than one

    example. An eye for an attractive

    picture is also betrayed by the four

    Seasons by the little known Mary

    Ensor (lot 42). Dated 1863, these

    intriguing assemblages of fowers

    and birds suggest that the artist

    knew the work of William Webbe

    or J.A. Fitzgerald.

    But the paintings that are most

    characteristic of the collection as a

    whole, both in terms of artist and

    subject, are two head-and-shoulder

    female fgures: a likeness of Jane

    Morris by her immortaliser and

    tormented lover, D. G. Rossetti

    (lot 6, illustrated), and E.J. Poynters

    Judith, exhibited at the Grosvenor

    Gallery in 1881 and still in its

    original tabernacle frame (lot 7,

    illustrated). The Rossetti dates

    from 1879, three years before

    the artists death, when his affair

    with Jane, at its height a decade

    earlier, had cooled; she herself had

    withdrawn on account of his drug

    addiction, although they remained

    on affectionate terms. As so often

    in his work, she masquerades here

    as Dantes Beatrice, although the

    image is based on her appearance as

    the ill-treated Mariana, a character

    in Shakespeares Measure for Measure,

    in another painting of 1870. Both

    versions show her wearing in her

    Stunners: Pre-Raphaelite Art from a

    Private American Collection (Lots 1-42)

    (Lot 6)

    (Lot 7)

  • 9

    hair the spiral brooch that was

    one of the most dependable items

    in Rossettis arsenal of decorative


    If Jane was Rossettis personal

    femme fatale, Poynters Judith

    (lot 7), painted two years later,

    represents one of the most famous

    sirens of all time, inspiring countless

    artists from Cranach and Donatello

    to Caravaggio, Rembrandt and

    Klimt. Many have revelled in the

    storys bloody and sex-fuelled

    climax when the Hebrew heroine

    saves her people by seducing and

    beheading Holofernes, the invading

    general of the Babylonian tyrant

    Nebuchadnezzar. Poynter opts

    for something more restrained,

    although even he shows Judith

    fngering the pommel of the sword

    with which she plans to carry out

    the gruesome deed.

    It is obvious from a glance at the

    drawings that the collectors were

    particularly drawn to the

    Pre-Raphaelites, although not in

    every guise. They did not, it seems,

    covet the realists and purveyors

    of genre in whom the movement

    abounds. On the other hand,

    they eagerly sought those artists

    who, under the heady infuence

    of Rossetti, colonised its other

    great feld of expression: romance,

    imagination, and soul. Hence

    no fewer than seven drawings by

    Rossetti himself, three by Burne-

    Jones, four by Simeon Solomon,

    two by Frederick Sandys, and one

    each by Charles Fairfax Murray,

    Evelyn De Morgan and Sandys

    short-lived younger sister, Emma.

    Murray treats a subject from

    William Morriss Love is Enough, an

    experimental masque or morality

    published in November 1872

    (lot 23). The De Morgan and

    the Emma Sandys remind us of

    the enormous contribution that

    women made to the movement,

    overcoming daunting obstacles in

    terms of prejudice and inadequate


    Three of the Pre-Raphaelites

    more academic contemporaries

    Frederic Leighton, Edward Poynter,

    and William Blake Richmond

    are also present, logically since

    although they were different from

    them in artistic temperament, they

    were their friends and often their

    professional colleagues. Leighton

    and Poynter rose to be pillars of

    the Victorian art establishment as

    Presidents of the Royal Academy,

    Leighton holding the post with

    more authority and aplomb than

    any incumbent since Reynolds.

    No Pre-Raphaelite represented

    here could have done this to save

    his life, all being by nature

    anti-establishment fgures. Yet

    Leighton was a friend of Burne-

    Jones and worked with him on

    such projects as the decoration of

    the South Kensington Museum

    and Lyndhurst Church. He and

    Poynter joined Rossetti, Sandys

    and Burne-Jones in making major

    contributions to the movement

    A Celebration of Connoisseurship John Christian

    (Lot 18)

    (Lot 36)

  • 10

    for better book and periodical

    illustration that took off in the

    1860s. Poynter, who also worked at

    South Kensington, married Burne-

    Joness sister-in-law in 1866 and

    painted his daughter. So, for that

    matter, did Richmond. She was a

    great beauty.

    This is not a collection that

    celebrates the off-beat and

    unexpected. The drawings tend

    to be substantial statements of

    mainstream values. There is

    a marked preference for head

    studies, generally large in scale

    but very different in purpose. If

    the Solomons (lots 28-31) make

    excursions into an intensely private

    Symbolism, the Blake Richmonds

    (lots 10-11, 13) are studies for

    a major picture and two of the

    Rossettis are portraits (lots 8-9).

    Indeed this whole aspect of the

    collection veers towards portraiture,

    encompassing two characteristic

    likenesses of male sitters by Blake

    Richmonds father, George (lots

    34-5), and a noble study by

    G. F. Watts of his friend the artist

    Henry Phillips (lot 36, illustrated).

    The drawing by Emma Sandys (lot

    33) hovers between portraiture

    and fantasy, while her brothers

    Laurel Wreath (lot 20), though

    modelled by his daughter Gertrude,

    is essentially a belated, turn-of-the-

    century essay in the Aestheticism

    that had frst seen the light of

    day forty years earlier. As for the

    same artists Proud Maisie (lot 18,

    illustrated), this, as every student

    of the subject knows, is Sandys

    most famous creation and one

    of the most compelling images

    in the whole of Pre-Raphaelite

    iconography. Originally dating

    from the late 1860s, his vivid

    evocation of a petulant dominatrix

    was repeated many times by Sandys,

    its popularity a telling refection

    on Victorian psychology. In her

    catalogue raisonn of the artists

    work Betty Elzea lists eleven

    versions, of which this is the sixth.

    Elzea describes it as an early replica

    and dates it to within a few years of

    the frst.

    Figure studies are another distinct

    feature of the collectors taste.

    Perhaps their single most impressive

    drawing is Rossettis life-size study

    for the protagonist in Desdemonas

    Death Song, a painting conceived in

    the early 1870s but never completed (Lot 25)

    (Lot 24)

    (Lot 5)

  • 11

    (lot 5, illustrated). The composition

    shows the heroine crooning the

    willow song as she prepares for

    bed on the fatal night and her hair

    is brushed by her faithful maid,

    Emilia. Modelled, like so much

    of Rossettis later work, by Alexa

    Wilding, the drawing gives the

    fgure an elegance and grace that

    are not found in every study for

    this picture. The pose is sometimes

    awkward, particularly the placing

    of the hands, a feature successfully

    resolved on the present occasion.

    Leightons drapery study for Music

    (lot 25, illustrated), one of two

    (Lot 27)(Lot 26)

    decorative friezes that he painted

    for the South Audley Street house

    of the banker Stewart Hodgson in

    the 1880s, is another fne

    preparatory drawing. So too

    is Evelyn De Morgans study

    for her painting In Memoriam

    (lot 24, illustrated) and two nude

    female fgures by Poynter and

    Burne-Jones. The Poynter

    (lot 26, illustrated) is a study for

    his painting Diadumgne of which

    versions were exhibited at the Royal

    Academy in 1884 and 1885. The

    picture had impeccable

    art-historical credentials, being

    inspired by a famous Greek

    sculpture, the Diadumenos of

    Polycletus, but this did not

    stop it provoking one of those

    controversies about the propriety

    of depicting the nude that the

    Victorians relished. The drawing

    exemplifes Poynters skill as an

    academic draughtsman, a skill he

    sought to pass on to students via

    the offcial art training system, and

    demonstrates that not all Victorian

    models were sylphs. Sickert once

    said of a drawing of three female

    nudes by Burne-Jones, with what

    now seems a breathtaking lack of

    political correctness, that he had

    never seen plumper little partridges

    (Lot 17)

  • 12

    from Fulham (where Burne-Jones

    lived). A great admirer of Poynters

    draughtsmanship, he might have

    made a similar comment about our


    Burne-Joness own model

    (lot 17, illustrated) has something

    of the same character. Clearly, like

    Poynters, a professional, she poses

    simply to allow the artist to fx

    the pose of the Queen who sits,

    cradling the Kings feet in her lap,

    in Arthur in Avalon, the enormous

    swan-song canvas that he began

    in 1881 and left unfnished at his

    death seventeen years later. Only in

    the painting would she be idealised,

    morphing into a stately image of

    passionate but restrained grief.

    No-one could describe Augustus

    Johns willowy female model

    (lot 27, illustrated) as plump, and

    indeed the drawing is something of

    an anomaly in the present context,

    introducing a modern British note

    into the prevailing Victoriana.

    On the other hand, John has often

    been seen as continuing the

    Pre-Raphaelite tradition. To

    reproduce a head study of Dorelia

    or Alick Schepeler alongside one by

    Rossetti or Burne-Jones is almost a

    clich of catalogue layout.

    Connoisseurship is a somewhat

    outmoded term these days,

    suggestive of elderly gentlemen

    poring over solanders, pondering

    the fner points of quality,

    technique, condition and

    attribution, or fussing about

    iconography and provenance.

    No time for all this in the white

    heat of modern, wall-to-wall

    collecting! But the word only really

    means sound judgement based on

    knowledge and experience, and

    without this no-one has yet formed

    a frst-rate collection. You may rely

    on others for expertise and advice,

    but ultimately you have to make

    the decisions yourself. As Grayson

    Perry would say, you must put in

    the hours and the legwork. There

    are no short cuts or soft options.

    Our collectors have known

    all this, and it shows. In their

    assured selection, even lesser masters

    appear at their best. Few Evelyn

    De Morgan drawings reach

    the level of this one, while the

    Henry Ryland (lot 19, illustrated),

    beautifully composed and

    (Lot 19)

    (Lot 8)

    (Lot 1)

  • 13

    exquisitely coloured, an abstraction

    of which Albert Moore himself

    might have been proud, is the most

    appealing we have seen for ages.

    A sign of the true connoisseur

    of drawings is a preference for

    examples that relate to paintings

    and therefore shed light on the

    artists thought processes before

    a satisfactory solution is reached.

    We have already seen that the

    collection abounds in these

    fascinating documents, but they

    are such a marked feature that it

    is hard to resist giving a few more

    examples. Rossetti, in addition to

    defning the pose of Desdemona,

    offers studies for three paintings of

    the 1860s, a portrait of the wife

    of F.R. Leyland, the Liverpool

    shipowner who was one of his

    greatest patrons (lot 8, illustrated),

    and two watercolours, The Return of

    Tibullus to Delia (lot 2) and Hamlet

    and Ophelia (lot 1, illustrated).

    The subject of the latter, Ophelia

    returning to her suitor his letters

    and presents, seems to have had

    some special signifcance for the

    artist since this was his second

    treatment, the frst being a richly

    detailed and symbol-laden pen and

    ink drawing of 1858, now in the

    British Museum. Curiously enough,

    the bundle of letters and a chasse-

    like jewel-casket that appear in the

    foreground of the watercolour are

    omitted in the preliminary drawing,

    perhaps because Rossettis primary

    concern here was to articulate the

    psychological tension between the


    Similarly, Burne-Jones, in addition

    to his Avalon drawing, contributes

    a study for the musician in

    The Mill (lot 15, illustrated),

    a painting shown at the Grosvenor

    Gallery in 1882, and a vibrant

    little composition sketch for

    The Finding of Medusa in the Perseus

    series (lot 14, illustrated). Studies

    for The Mill are comparatively rare,

    despite the fact that the picture

    was twelve years on the easel. Ours

    is an early example, datable on

    stylistic grounds to about 1870,

    and is interesting in that the music

    the fgure plays sets the mood of

    this overtly Aesthetic production.

    The picture was bought by

    Constantine Ionides, the autocratic

    head of the Anglo-Greek family

    that fgures so prominently in the

    annals of Victorian art, and is now,

    with the rest of his collection, in

    the Victoria & Albert Museum.

    The Perseus series also owed its

    existence to a remarkable patron,

    being commissioned in 1875 by

    the young Tory politician Arthur

    Balfour to adorn the drawing room

    of his London house, 4 Carlton

    Gardens. The Finding of Medusa is

    one of the more dramatic scenes, (Lot 15)

    (Lot 14)

  • 14

    especially in the full-scale gouache

    cartoon in the Southampton Art

    Gallery, a work of almost terrifying

    intensity. The fnal oil was never


    The same pattern emerges when we

    turn to the Pre-Raphaelites more

    academic peers. Leighton

    is represented not only by his

    study for Music but by two much

    earlier drawings for his illustrations

    to George Eliots historical novel

    Romola (lot 21, illustrated, and lot

    22), one of the masterpieces of the

    renaissance that the art of illustration

    witnessed in the 1860s. As for

    Poynter, his study for Diadumeng is

    joined by a head study for Helena

    and Hermia (lot 16), a painting

    commissioned by the Art Gallery of

    South Australia, Adelaide, in 1899

    and exhibited at the Royal Academy

    two years later. One of the artists

    most attractive later works, it shows

    the two heroines of Shakespeares

    A Midsummer Nights Dream

    expressing their boon

    companionship by working together

    on a single embroidery in a wood

    outside Athens, a travel-brochure

    view of azure sea and sun-kissed

    mountains visible in the distance.

    As for the tribute that

    connoisseurship pays to provenance,

    valuing it both for its intrinsic

    interest and the confdence it

    instils, the evidence offered by the

    collection is almost overwhelming.

    Burne-Joness study for The Mill

    belonged to the great Blake

    scholar Sir Geoffrey Keynes, while

    Poynters head study for Helena

    and Hermia was in the remarkable

    collection of drawings formed

    by Sir John Witt, the son of

    Robert Witt, the founder of the

    Witt Library, to which every art

    historian is indebted. Once again,

    however, attention tends to focus

    on the Rossettis. The portrait of

    Jane Morris (lot 6) belonged to

    Sir Charles Butler, a keen early

    collector of Rossettis work as well

    as of the old masters.

    One drawing (lot 9) was owned by

    the artist Randolph Schwabe, and

    (Lot 4)

    (Lot 21

  • 15

    one (lot 4, illustrated) by another

    artist, L.S. Lowry, whose devotion

    to Rossetti, though it never ceases

    to surprise in the light of his own

    work, is well known. Two more

    (lots 2-3, illustrated) were in the

    collection of Janet Camp Troxell,

    for many years the doyenne of

    Rossetti scholars in America. And

    one of these, a sketch of Fanny

    Cornforth, Rossettis model, mistress

    and housekeeper, asleep on a day

    bed (lot 3), could boast a whole

    series of distinguished owners before

    it came into her possession.

    The drawing is remarkable in its

    own right. Fanny is seen not as

    Bocca Baciata, Boccaccios kissed

    mouth, or a Venus Veneta by

    some latterday Palma Vecchio or

    Paris Bordone, but as she was a

    handsome, voluptuous, good-time

    girl, taking a nap after what has

    perhaps been a long day running

    the eccentric household at 16

    Cheyne Walk. Rossettis affection

    for her, not to say his gratitude

    for bringing some down-to-earth

    warmth and humour into his

    over-cerebral, emotionally fraught

    existence, is almost palpable.

    But the drawings history claims

    attention as much as its very human

    theme. Given by Rossetti to his

    friend and patron the landscape

    painter G.P. Boyce in December

    1862, less than two months

    (Lot 3)

    (Lot 2)

    after he had moved into Cheyne

    Walk, it was sold at Boyces sale

    at Christies in July 1897, and

    between then and its acquisition by

    Mrs Troxell belonged successively

    to four well-known connoisseurs:

    Herbert Horne, architect, expert

    on Botticelli, and creator of the

    Museo Horne in Florence; Sir

    Edward Marsh, civil servant,

    patron of young artists, and editor

    of Georgian Poetry; Sir Brinsley

    Ford, whose collection will still

    be green in many memories; and

    Hugh Walpole, the novelist. Who

    will now acquire such a fascinating

    sheet, replete with resonance on

    every level, and add another name

    to this roll of honour?

  • 16


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Study for Hamlet and Opheliasigned with monogram and dated 1865 (lower right)

    pencil, pen and black ink, brown wash on paper

    7 x 5 in. (17.9 x 13.4 cm.)

    O20,000-30,000 $30,000-44,000


    Fig. 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Hamlet and Ophelia, 1866, watercolour and gum arabic on paper Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford/ The Bridgeman Art Library


    with Agnews, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    As early as 1854, Rossetti had begun to explore the subject of Shakespeares Hamlet and Ophelia and the moment in Act III, scene i, when Ophelia returns letters and gifts that Hamlet had given her.

    My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver; I pray you, now receive them. for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

    In an 1854 sketch, now in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Surtees, op.cit., no. 108A), Rossetti depicts Ophelia with her hands clasped in her lap, seemingly exhausted with emotion, whilst Hamlet kneels on a seat with his hands raised to his chest. In 1858, he elaborated on this earlier sketch, in a highly fnished pen and ink drawing. (British Museum, Surtees, op.cit., no. 108). The fgures are in an ornate bower, Ophelia is turned away from Hamlet, holding out the remembrances to him. Hamlet dominates the scene, his arms outstretched, almost Christ-like. There is a further pen and ink study of the subject, from circa 1854, in the British Museum, which explores the emotional responses of the fgures; Ophelia stands, her face hidden in her hands, turning away from Hamlet who stretches over her empty chair, hands outstretched.

    By the 1860s Rossetti had refned and simplifed the composition. In the three works which he executed at this time, Hamlet clasps Ophelias hand and the two fgures are standing framed by architecture, the earlier detailed settings rejected. The present drawing appears to have been unknown to Surtees when she compiled her catalogue raisonn. The year after the present drawing was executed, Rossetti produced a watercolour based on this study (Ashmolean Museum, fg. 1, Surtees, op.cit., no. 189). There is a further pen and brown ink drawing of the same composition in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Surtees, op.cit., no. 189A).

    Hamlet, more than any other of Shakespeares plays, captured Rossettis imagination and in particular its themes of rejection and betrayal. Rossettis work was often autobiographical and he responded to and explored themes and ideas which had a particular or personal resonance. As John Christian has suggested it is diffcult to ignore the links between the themes explored in Hamlet and the artists own behaviour towards Lizzie Siddal in the years before their marriage in 1860; his dalliance with Fanny Cornforth and others, and his feelings of guilt, which can only have been magnifed by her suicide in 1862. Lizzie Siddal had sat for the fgure of Ophelia in the earlier works, in itself unsurprising as she dominated his art throughout this period. However, it is interesting to note the similarity with the features of the model in this later sheet, when Siddal had been dead for three years.

    In a letter to George Eliot (18 February 1870), Rossetti discusses his ideas; In the Hamlet I have wished to symbolize the character and situation,

    as well as to represent the incident. Perhaps after all a simpler treatment might have been better. As regards the dramatic action, I have meant to make Hamlet ramping about and talking wildly, kneeling on one of the little stalls and pulling to pieces the roses planted in a box in the angle-hardly knowing all he says and does, as he throws his arms this way and that along the edge of the carved screen. Ophelia is tired of talking and listens to him, still holding out the letters and presents she wishes to return.

    The highly worked technique employed by the artist in the present drawing can be found in other drawings of the 1850s and 60s, including Hesterna Rosa (Surtees, op. cit., no. 57) and How they met themselves (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Surtees, op. cit., no. 118) ), refecting the infuence of Ruskin upon the young artists work. In The Elements of Drawing, published 1857, but based on long experience of teaching at the Working Mens College, Ruskin urges his readers to begin with this medium. Ruskin made much use of Drers prints as teaching aids, and there can be little doubt that he lent Rossetti examples as a guide. The Elements of Drawing abounds in references to Drers engravings, which the reader is told to acquire and copy as aids to painstaking, accurate draughtsmanship.

    The elaborate, detailed penmanship here immediately recalls those master engravings, giving a fascinating insight into Rossettis infuences, and the crucial role Ruskin played in his artistic development.

  • (actual size)

  • 18


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Study of a girl for The Return of Tibullus to Deliaindistinctly inscribed This point a little higher (lower left)

    pencil and red chalk on paper

    12 x 9 in. (32.7 x 22.9 cm.)

    50,000-80,000 $74,000-120,000



    D.G. Rossetti (); Christies, London, 12 May 1883, lot 158 (4 gns. to Campbell).with Christopher Wood, London, where purchased by the present owners.


    V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Oxford, 1971, p. 25, pl. 62, no. 62.R.I.A.

    The present drawing dates from the 1860s and is a full-length study of the fgure of Delia for The Return of Tibullus to Delia. Rossetti frst treated the subject in a watercolour dating from the early 1850s with Lizzie Siddal as the model for Delia (Surtees, op.cit., no. 62). That watercolour was initially owned by Fanny Cornforth. Rossetti executed a second version of the subject, also in watercolour dated 1867, which was commissioned by F. W. Craven and owned subsequently by Fairfax Murray and L. S. Lowry, before being sold in these Rooms on 11 June 1993, lot 82, (fg. 1).

    The present drawing is a preparatory study for the later watercolour and demonstrates Rossettis further thoughts on the pose of Delia. In the earlier watercolour she sits upright, a lock of hair between her lips, her eyes closed, a distaff in her left hand. Whereas here she is more relaxed, leaning over to the left, with her hair spread out, her hands empty. The model in the present drawing appears to be based on Lizzie, who had died fve years earlier. For another drawing where Rossetti harks back to his late wife, see lot 1.

    The subject is taken from the Elegies of the Roman poet Tibullus, I, 3, vv. 82-92. Rossetti himself translates the Latin as:

    Live Chaste, dear love; and while Im far away, Be some old dame thy guardian night and day. Shell sing thee songs, and when the lamp is litPly the full rock and draw long threads from it.So, unannounced, shall I come suddenly, As twere a presence sent from heaven to thee.Then as thou art, all long and loose thy hair, Run to me, Delia, run with thy feet bare.

    Fig. 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Return of Tibullus to Delia, 1867, watercolour and bodycolour, sold Christies, London, 11 June 1993, lot 82

    The watercolour shows the realisation of Tibulluss wish. He bursts though the door, stepping over the sleeping fgure of a slave, followed by a slave girl, who holds back the curtain. Rossetti contrasts the energetic and abrupt appearance of Tibullus with the lassitude of the two women. Delia is seated wearily, leaning to the left, her hair spread out, whilst the old dame, her guardian, is singing to two lutes. A young slave sleeps across the threshold and there is a cat curled up on the foot stool in the foreground.

    The present drawing is a particularly sensitive sketch and the inscription this point a little higher clearly indicates Rossettis thoughts as he developed the composition, a commission for one of his most important patrons, the Manchester calico-printer Frederick W. Craven.

  • 20


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Study of Fanny Cornforth, asleep on a chaise-longuesigned, inscribed and dated D.G.R. to G.P.B. Decr 7. 62

    (lower left) and signed with monogram (lower right) and with

    inscription Sketch of Fanny Cornforth by D.G. Rossetti,

    Given by D.G.R. to George P. Boyce Decr 7 62

    (in the hand of George Price Boyce, on the reverse)

    pencil on paper

    13 x 20 in. (35.8 x 50.7 cm.)

    120,000-180,000 $180,000-270,000



    George Price Boyce (); Christies, London, 1 July 1897, lot 28 (sold 5.15s to Horne).Herbert Horne (L. 2804).Sir Edward Marsh.Sir Brinsley Ford (L. 936e).Anonymous sale; Sothebys, London, 29 March 1939, lot 54.Sir Hugh Walpole. (L. 1386)Mrs Janet Camp Troxall.with The Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by the present owners.


    London, Leicester Galleries, Collection of Sir Hugh Walpole, 1945, no. 32.London, Royal Academy, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Painter and Poet, 1973, no. 248. Yale University Art Gallery, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Double Work of Art, 1976, catalogue untraced.


    A. E Street, George Price Boyce, with extracts from Boyces diaries, 1851-1875, The Old Watercolour Societys Club, IXX, 1941, p. 43.V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Oxford, 1971, p. 161, no. 289.

  • 22

    Fig. 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Bocca Baciata, 1859, oil on panel Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, / Gift of James Lawrence / The Bridgeman Art Library

    Fanny Cornforth (1835-1906) frst met Rossetti during a fte to mark the return of the troops from the Crimea. Born Sarah Cox, the daughter of a blacksmith in the Sussex village of Steyning, her combination of beauty, magnetism and her sensual nature proved irresistible to the artist. She was a complete contrast to the delicate, neurotic and ailing Lizzie Siddal, with whom hed had a long and tortured relationship. Although there is no proof, it seems likely that Fanny became not only Rossettis model but also his mistress before he was reunited with and married to Lizzie in 1860. Following Lizzies death two years later, Rossetti moved to Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, and Fanny was installed as his housekeeper.

    Fanny frst sat to Rossetti on 26 August 1856, when she went to his studio in Blackfriars to pose for the fgure of the farmers sweetheart in Found (Bancroft Collection, Willmington). In 1859 she sat for Bocca Baciata (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, fg. 1), the painting which is generally considered to mark the beginning of his mature style and a landmark in Aestheticism. Fanny dominates Rossettis imagination in the early and mid 1860s and sat for nearly all of his most signifcant work of that time.

    During this period Rossetti abandons the Dantesque or chivalric narratives that he had favoured previously and for which Lizzie had been his inspiration. In Bocca Baciata he began to formulate a more Aesthetic style, where female beauty and the overall decorative and chromatic effects were key. The work of the Venetian Masters, which he had studied in the Louvre whilst on honeymoon in Paris in 1860 proved infuential, and Fanny became the muse for this Venetian phase, just as Lizzie had inspired his earlier Dantesque period. By the late 1860s, although

    Rossetti had become enthralled by the soulful looks of Jane Morris (see lot 6), he continued to rely on Fanny for practical help and the emotional stability he so needed in his later years.

    Cornforth also sat to other artists including Burne-Jones and the watercolourist George Price Boyce (1826-1897). The latter appears to have formed a close bond with the model and it is thought that she perhaps had an affair with both Boyce and Rossetti. Rossetti captured Boyce and Cornforth looking at a work on an easel in Rossettis rooms in a detailed drawing (Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, fg. 2).

    The present drawing dates from December 1862, two months after Rossetti had moved to Chelsea. Boyce records in his diary, for the 7 December 1862. In the evening went up to Chelsea to see Rossetti. Found him and Fanny at home. Stayed and dined. He gave me a pencil sketch of her as she lay on a couch, hair outspread, and her right hand under her head. (Old Watercolour Society, loc. cit., p. 43).

    Boyce frst met Rossetti in 1849 and the two became frm friends. Boyce formed an extensive collection of the work of many of his contemporaries including Millais, Burne-Jones, Poynter, Leighton, Holman Hunt and Rossetti amongst others. He acquired a number of Rossettis early works including How They Met Themselves (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) and in 1859, he commissioned Bocca Baciata (fg. 1).

    This masterful drawing has an illustrious provenance . It was sold in these Rooms after Boyces death in 1897, where it was purchased by Herbert

  • 23

    Fig. 2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Price Boyce and Fanny Cornforth, c.1858, pen and ink on paper Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle / The Bridgeman Art Library

    Horne (1864-1916), an architect, art collector and art historian, whose book on Botticelli is still regarded, over a century after it was published, as one of the key works on the artist. Horne was part of the Century Guild, a loose association of architects, designers and craftsmen set up by Hornes business partner, A. H. Mackmurdo (1851-1942), in an effort to make architecture and the decorative arts the sphere, no longer of the tradesman but, of the artist. Hornes involvement in this movement led him to be widely regarded as William Morris (1834-1896) successor. However, by the end of the 19th Century, Hornes interests has turned towards the Italian Renaissance and in 1904, he moved to Florence, so that he could study the subject more fully. He sold his collection of English watercolours to Edward Marsh (18721953) to support this.

    Edward Marsh was a polymath, civil servant and patron of the arts. He acted as Private Secretary for a number of government ministers including, for twenty-three years from 1905, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965). He not only collected British watercolours and paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, but also formed one of the most important collections of Modern British art, patronising contemporary artists such as Gaudier-Breszka, Stanley Spencer, John and Paul Nash, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson and Duncan Grant amongst others. He acted as Rupert Brookes literary executor following the poets death in 1915, and served as a trustee of the Tate Gallery, and as a governor of the Old Vic Theatre, London.

    Sir Brinsley Ford (1908-1999) was an art historian, connoisseur, collector and patron of the arts. He was an authority on many aspects of 18th

    Century British art, in particular the artists and patrons of the Grand Tour. Amongst his numerous roles he served as a Trustee of the National Gallery (1954-1961) and as Chair of the National Art Collections Fund (1975-1980). He inherited a large collection of British and European Art, upon which he continued to build, forming one of the great collections of the 20th Century.

    Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) was one of the most prolifc and popular authors of the frst half of the 20th Century, who also wrote Hollywood flm scripts in the 1930s. However, his reputation and his confdence were badly shaken when he was lampooned by Somerset Maugham in Cakes and Ale and his style of writing fell from favour after the Second World War.

    Mrs Janet Camp Troxall (1897-1987) was a leading authority in the United States on Rossetti and his circle. She published widely on the subject and left her collection of over three thousand manuscripts relating to the subject to Princeton University.

    That the present drawing formed part of some of the worlds most eminent collections, including those who were not regarded as collectors of Victorian Art, is a testament to its captivating qualities and its ability to transcend genres.

  • 24


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Study of a female head, in three-quarter-profile to the left, holding a flower stemsigned with monogram and dated 1865 (lower right)

    pencil on paper

    14 x 10 in. (35.7 x 25.4 cm.)

    O50,000-80,000 $74,000-120,000



    L.S. Lowry, R.A.with Colnaghis, London, where purchased by the present owners.


    V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Oxford, 1971, I, p. 227, no. 714, pl. 492.

    In her catalogue raisonn, Virginia Surtees considers whether the present drawing was a discarded study for the bridesmaid in the right foreground in The Beloved (Tate Gallery, London, fg. 2). There are certainly similarities, the bridesmaid is holding a fower stem and there is a similarity in treatment of the fgure, although that could be because the sitter for both the bridesmaid and the present drawing is the same. Alternatively she suggests it could relate to Sybilla Palmifera (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, fg. 1), where the single fgure sits enthroned holding a palm leaf.

    The sitter of the present drawing is Ellen Smith, a laundry maid who sat to many of the artists of the day including, Rossetti, Boyce, Burne-Jones, Poynter, and Spencer Stanhope amongst others. Boyce frst mentions her as sitting to Rossetti, in his diary for 13 April 1863 and she sat for many of his most accomplished works, including Washing Hands (1865), The Beloved (1865-6), The Christmas Carol (1867) and Jolie Coeur (1867). Sadly

    Fig 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sybilla Palmifera, c.1865-1870, oil on canvas Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool/ The Bridgeman Art Library

    Fig. 2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Beloved,1865-6, oil on canvas Tate, London

    her modelling career appears to have been cut short when she was attacked by a brute of a soldier and her face disfgured. However, Boyce mentions in his diary of 17 February 1873, that Ellen Smith, now Mrs Elson, called on me to tell me that she had been married about 3 weeks again to an old acquaintance and suitor, a cabman. She wishes to do some laundry work on her own account, as her husbands earnings are small.

    This drawing was formerly in the collection of the artist L. S. Lowry, who followed in the tradition of artist collectors, dating back centuries to artists such as Van Dyck, Lely, Reynolds and Lawrence. It is diffcult to see the connection that Lowry, with his industrial scenes and matchstick fgures, could have with the voluptuous and soulful fgures produced by the earlier artist. Yet Lowry appears to have been almost obsessive in his collecting of Rossettis work, amassing at least sixteen works by the artist. David Bathurst, writing in his article Talking to Lowry for the Christies Review of 1964-5, noted the he collects with an insatiable zeal. Few things can drag Lowry away from the north of England, but, as he says himself, Id be on the 11:58 tomorrow if you had another like the one I bought in April. I have nightmares sometimes that Christies are going to hold an entire sale of Rossettis.

  • 26


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Portrait study of a girl, leaning on one hand, the other arm hanging down, for Desdemonas Death Songblack chalk on two joined sheets of pale blue prepared paper

    41 x 29 in. (104.2 x 75 cm.)

    500,000-800,000 $740,000-1,200,000



    D.G. Rossetti (); Christies, London, 12 May 1883, probably lot 17 (4 gns to Watts-Dunton).Theodore Watts-Dunton.Anonymous sale; Sothebys, London, 10 November 1981, lot 38.Anonymous sale; Christies, London, 14 May 1985, lot 192.with Christopher Wood, London, where purchased by the present owners.


    H.C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London, 1899, no. 287.V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Oxford, 1971, pp. 150-1, possibly no. 254f.

  • 28

    Fig. 2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Desdemonas Death Song: a fragment, oil on canvas laid on board, sold Christies, London, 17 June 2014, lot 61

    Fig.1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alexa Wilding as Desdemona, 1875, coloured chalks on paper, sold Christies London, 23 November 2005, lot 19

    Rossetti has taken his inspiration from Shakespeares Othello, Act IV, scene iii, where Desdemona is seen getting ready for bed with her maid Emilia arranging her in her nightly wearing; and combing out her hair. Desdemona, upset by Othellos groundless accusations of infdelity, is eager to comply with his request that she retires to bed and whilst getting ready remembers a song she learnt from her mothers maid, who had been deserted by her lover. Desdemona describes how the song, Will not go from my mind; I have much to do, But to go hang my head all at one side, And sing it.

    The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree, Sing all a green willow: Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee, Sing willow, willow, willow: The fresh streams ran by her, and murmurd her moans; Sing willow, willow, willow; Her salt tears fell from her, and softend the stones; Sing willow

    Rossetti was thinking of the subject as early as 1872, when he suggested it as a possible subject for one of his most important patrons, the Liverpool ship owner, F. R. Leyland (see lot 8 for another commission for Leyland). Leyland had been creating a sumptuous Aesthetic interior at his London house, 22 Queens Gate, since 1868 and Rossetti felt that it would make a suitable and splendid centre for other musical pictures in [Leylands] drawing room... The fgures would come of a moderate life-size without interfering with its conveniently taking place over [the] piano (V. Surtees, op. cit., p. 150). A previously unrecorded, highly-fnished chalk drawing of Alexa Wilding as Desdemona, was sold in these Rooms (23 November 2005, lot 19, fg. 1). It is dated 1875 and serves as a fascinating insight into Rossettis earlier conception of the subject, which is rather

    different from that which he began working on a few years later.

    It is uncertain when Rossetti actually started work on the composition to which the present sheet relates, although he was defnitely working in it towards the end of 1878, when he fnished The Vision of Fiammetta (private collection). Despite Rossettis enthusiasm for the scheme, the painting remained unfnished at the artists death ten years later and survives today as a fragment (recently sold in these Rooms, 17 June 2014, lot 61, fg. 2) showing Desdemonas head.

    A letter that the artist wrote just a fortnight before his death, to the critic F.G. Stephens, implies that he had only recently begun work on the painting; he wrote that he had designed and begun painting lately a good sized picture of Desdemona singing the Willow Song while Emilia dresses her hair. The touching belief he had expressed to Stephens, in the same letter that the picture would certainly be one of my best and most attractive things, was never realised. However, that he produced eight studies including the present drawing, monumental in scale, is testament to the importance he placed on the idea.

    Three of the studies, all executed in black chalk, similarly sized are on two joined-sheets. One is a highly detailed compositional drawing, showing Emilia brushing Desdemonas hair, which was sold in these Rooms (lot 4, 24 November 2004, fg. 3) and is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington . Here Desdemona sits impassively whilst her hair is brushed, her lips slightly parted, as if singing. A second sheet now in Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery depicts the fgure of Desdemona, alone, lost in thought, her head on one hand and her hairbrush hanging forgotten in her left. In the present drawing however, Rossettis intention appears to have been the melancholic emotions of the sitter, and the emphasis is on her face and expression, and on her arms, her nightclothes being

  • 29

    Fig. 3: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Desdemonas Death Song, black chalk with traces of red chalk, on two joined sheets, sold Christies, London, 24 November 2004, lot 4

    Fig. 4: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Death of Lady Macbeth, c.1875, graphite on paper Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle / The Bridgeman Art Library

    merely sketched in. Her arm hangs heavy without the brush and our eye is drawn to the carefully-sculpted face. The fact that her night clothes are merely sketched in and her hair still piled up on her head, means that our eye is constantly drawn to the carefully delineated form of her hauntingly beautiful face, emphasising the almost otherworldliness of her expression, reminding us of her fate.

    Both Jane Morris and Marie Stillman have in the past been suggested as models for the subject. In a surviving letter Rossetti records, I am still expecting Mrs Stillman to get about my new Desdemona picture from her. I have it all in my head (letter to Jane Morris, 27 August 1879, British Museum). However, neither women are particularly recognizable in any of the surviving drawings and the sitter appears more likely to be Alexa Wilding, who was the model for the earlier 1875 study (fg. 1).

    The work of Shakespeare infuenced Rossetti throughout his life. As early as circa 1846 Rossetti explored the subject of Helena and Hermia (Surtees, op. cit., no. 26) from Act III, scene ii of A Midsummer Nights Dream. By 1850 he was contemplating a watercolour illustrating Much Ado about Nothing (Surtees, op. cit., no. 46). In 1858 he was exploring Hamlet and Ophelia, a subject he returned again in the mid-1860s and indeed it was Hamlet more than any other play which captured his imagination in his early maturity (lot 1).

    By the early 1870s, however, Rossettis approach to Shakespeare had shifted and he began to explore subjects laden with menace and dark foreboding. Not only does he explore the subject of Othellos Desdemona, depicting her at the very moment she awaits her husband and ultimately her death, but he embarks on an even darker subject, that of the death of Lady Macbeth, surrounded by distraught waiting women and monks frantically invoking heavenly intercession (fg. 4). Taken together they seem to refect the emotional turbulence of the artists later life.

    John Christian has suggested that Rossettis interest in Desdemonas willow song sprang not from any particular musical instinct but from an association in his mind between Jane Morris and the word willow. In December 1868 he had written a sequence of four sonnets entitled Willow-wood, in which he had explored his and Janes fraught relationship. Furthermore in 1871, he painted Water-willow, a portrait of Morris, holding willow branches, with Kelmscott Manor, where they had spent most of their happiest times, in the background. Such deeply autobiographical, or auto-psychological (as Rossetti termed it), undertones is not unusual in Rossettis work and the inclusion of elements of his own life and beliefs in his art, whether consciously or subconsciously, was something that the artist acknowledged.

    Theodore Watts Dunton (1832-1914), who purchased the drawing from Rossettis studio sale, was a lawyer, literary writer and poet and close friend of Rossettis during the last years of his life. Watts Dunton practiced as a solicitor in London and wrote widely for various publications including the Examiner from 1874, the Athenaeum from 1875, as well as contributing several articles to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, including most notably the entry on Poetry for the 9th Edition. His frst volume of poetry published under his own name was not released until 1897. Watts Dunton is also remembered for inviting Algernon Swinburne to live with him and rescuing him from alcoholism; Swinburne remained with Watts Dunton until his death in 1909. Theodores sister and brother-in-law (a fellow solicitor) and their son, as well as later on, a second sister and Henry Treffry Dunn, one of Rossettis studio assistants, all lived with Watts Dunton, who only married in 1905.

  • 30


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Beatrice: A portrait of Jane Morrissigned with monogram and dated 1879 (upper left) and inscribed

    Beatrice Tanto gentile e tanto onesto pare Dante Vita Nuova

    (on the reverse) and with inscription 104 Head of a Lady 1879/DG

    Rossetti/42/12/3 (on a label attached to the frame)

    oil on canvas

    14 x 11 in. (36.5 x 30 cm.)

    In the artists original frame

    700,000-1,000,000 $1,100,000-1,500,000



    D.G. Rossetti (); Christies, London, 12 May 1883, lot 104, as Head of a Lady (40 gns to C.A. Howell, on behalf of Charles Butler).Captain H.L. Butler.with Peter Nahum, London, March 1985, where purchased by the present owners.


    London, Peter Nahum, A Celebration of British and European Painting of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, September 1984 - December 1985.


    H.C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: An Illustrated Memorial of his Art and Life, London, 1899, no. 250 (dated incorrectly).Masterpieces of Rossetti, London and Glasgow, 1923, p. 47.G. Pedrick, Life with Rossetti, 1964, p. 195.V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Oxford, 1971, vol. 1, p. 152, no. 256.

  • 32

    Fig 3: Jane Morris, a photograph taken by John R. Parsons in the garden at 16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, July 1865

    Beatrice Portinari was the Florentine girl who represented the ideal of spiritual love for the great Italian poet Dante (1265-1321). He frst met her at the age of nine, and when they re-met nine years later he felt as if intoxicated. When she died in 1290 he almost lost his sanity. His love for her is celebrated in prose and verse in La Vita Nuova, published in 1293; and she reappears in his masterpiece, the Divina Commedia, guiding him towards the ultimate experience of celestial bliss in heaven.

    Dante dominated the intellectual life of Rossettis father, Gabriel Rossetti, an Italian political refugee who held the post of Professor of Italian at Kings College, London. His son was named after his fathers hero and he too became obsessed with the fgure of Dante, publishing translations of the Vita Nuova and other works in his Early Italian Poets (1861), and illustrating episodes from the poets writings. Perhaps the best known example is Beata Beatrix (1872, Tate, London), conceived before the death of Rossettis wife, Lizzie Siddal, in 1862, but painted later and generally regarded as his memorial to her. Rossetti described the picture as a symbolic representation of Beatrices death, showing her rapt from Earth to Heaven as she sits on a balcony overlooking Florence.

    Our picture dates from 1879, and as Virginia Surtees notes it is clearly related to Mariana (fg. 1, 1870, Aberdeen Art Gallery) in which Jane Morris poses as the character from Shakespeares play, Measure for Measure. Mariana also appears in a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, another of Rossettis heroes. In our painting, and the Aberdeen example, the sitter gazes out at the viewer introspectively, in Marianas case thinking of her lost lover and hoping for an eventual reunion. However Rossetti has made it clear that our painting is a Beatrice as he has inscribed a quotation from La Vita Nuova on the reverse: Tanto gentile e tanto onesto pare (so gentle and so honest it seems).

    Dantes meetings with Beatrice, whether on earth or in heaven, were a never-ending source of interest to Rossetti, inspiring a number of paintings from the early 1850s until his death in 1882, when a large Salutation of Beatrice (Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio), painted for the Liverpool shipowner F.R. Leyland, was still on the easel. Another work entitled The Salutation of Beatrice was sold in these Rooms on 31 May 2012 (lot 14) for 2,169,250 (fg. 2, private collection).

    Jane is as pervasive a presence in Rossettis later work as Lizzie Siddal is in his early watercolours and drawings (For drawings of Lizzie Siddal by Rossetti see lots 1 and 2). Born in 1839, the daughter of an Oxford stablehand or ostler, she came to the attention of the Pre-Raphaelite Circle in the summer of 1857 when Rossetti and an entourage of followers, including William Morris and his close friend Edward Burne-Jones, descended on the town to paint murals illustrating the Morte dArthur in the new debating chamber at the Union. Struck by her unusual beauty and statuesque fgure, Rossetti asked her to sit for his mural, and even at this stage they seem to have been mutually attracted. But Rossetti was already engaged to Lizzie Siddal, and it was Morris, who had also fallen for her, that Jane married in 1859.

    She was never really in love with him, marrying him at least partly for his wealth and social position, and when Lizzie died from an overdose of laudanum in February 1862, probably taking her own life in a ft of depression, the stage was set for a renewal of intimacy between Jane and Rossetti. In the summer of 1865 Jane posed for a well-known series of photographs in the garden at 16 Cheyne Walk, Rossettis house in Chelsea (fg. 3). In 1868 she sat to him for a formal portrait and began modelling for a series of imaginative compositions that represent one of the most powerful manifestations of later Pre-Raphaelitism. Their affair lasted from the late 1860s until about 1875, and during the years 1871-4 they managed to spend long periods of time together at Kelmscott Manor, the sleepy old Cotswold house on the upper Thames which Rossetti and Morris had recently taken as co-tenants. Much about their relationship remains obscure, and Jane herself destroyed vital evidence by burning most of her lovers letters for the years 1870-77. One surviving letter, dated 18 February 1870, indicates the strength and desperation of Rossettis love: Dearest, kindest JaneyTo be with you and wait on you and read to you is absolutely the only happiness I can fnd or conceive in this world, dearest Janey (R.C.H. Briggs, Letters to Janey, op. cit., p. 10). She eventually brought the liaison to an end because of Rossettis increasingly disturbed state of mind and dependence on chloral, although they remained on affectionate terms and Jane continued to model for him and to inspire major works.

    Fig 2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Salutation of Beatrice, sold Christies, London, 31 May 2012, lot 14

    Fig. 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Mariana, 1870, oil on canvas Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections

  • 33

    Our picture belongs to a relatively late stage of the love affair. It is a decade later than the important group of likenesses dating from 1868: the formal portrait The Blue Silk Dress (Society of Antiquaries, Kelmscott Manor) and such imaginative conceptions as Aurea Catena, Reverie and La Pia. It dates in fact to the same year as one of Rossettis most famous images of Jane Morris, La Donna della Finestra (1879), and was painted during a time when Jane had been taken ill with an undiagnosed complaint causing Rossetti to get so nervous and frightened about you that I dont know how I should have got through the night if I had not heard (Letter, 2 January 1880, in R.C.H. Briggs, Letters to Janey, Journal of the William Morris Society, vol. 1, no. 4, 1964, p. 15). The hairpin in Janes hair appears in many of Rossettis paintings, including Monna Vanna (1866, Tate, London), Joli Coeur (1867, Manchester City Art Gallery) and The Bower Meadow (1872, Manchester City Art Gallery). It was part of a collection of jewellery owned by Rossetti for use as props in his paintings, and is believed to have been lent to Mrs Howell, the wife of Charles Howell, Rossettis art dealer and friend, and never returned.

    The painting was still in Rossettis studio at his death in 1882 and this may account for its comparative lack of fnish. It is probable that towards the end of his life Rossetti focussed his attention on his larger commissions such as The Day Dream (1880, Victoria & Albert Museum, London) and Mnemosyne (1881, Bancroft Collection, Delaware Art Museum). For The Day Dream Janey sat to Rossetti a number of times and he initially titled

    it Vanna Primavera Janey in springtime. In our painting Rossetti has used the same verdant green pigments contrasting effectively with Janeys lustrous brown hair and clear pink skin. At his death Rossettis studio was found flled with portrait sketches of her. She had been indispensable to him as a model, a muse and an object of deep love:

    My world, my work, my woman, all my own What face but thine has taught me all that artCan be and still be natures counterpart?(Rossettis notebook, British Museum, Ashley 1410 (2) f. 29).

    The painting was bought at Rossettis studio sale by Howell on behalf of Charles Butler, an historian and scholar, who also served as a Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff for Hertfordshire. He appears alongside other signifcant artists, collectors and art dealers in Private View of the Old Masters Exhibition, Royal Academy, 1888, by Henry Jamyn Brooks (National Portrait Gallery) and built up his own signifcant art collection featuring works such as Portrait of Bartholomew Beale by Sir Peter Lely (Dulwich Picture Gallery), The Madonna and Child from the workshop of Verocchio (Metropolitan Museum, New York) and most pertinently Rossettis masterpiece in pastel Pandora, which sold in these Rooms (14 June 2000, lot 14, 2,643,750).

    In the original frame

  • 34


    Sir Edward John Poynter, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1826-1919)

    Judithsigned with monogram EJP and dated 1881 (centre right)

    oil on canvas

    18 x 11 in. (46.3 x 31.8 cm.)

    In the artists original tabernacle frame with blind fretwork

    entablature, composition columns and classical-style theatrical masks

    O80,000-120,000 $120,000-180,000



    Anonymous sale; Sothebys, Belgravia, 9 April 1980, lot 49.with Peter Nahum, London, November 1984, where purchased by the present owners.


    London, Grosvenor Gallery, 1881, no. 53, as Judith - A study.


    Grosvenor Notes, 1881, p. 24.Athenaeum, January-June 1881, p. 629.C. Monkhouse, Art Journal Art Annual, 1897, p. 32.

    This refective depiction of Judith, about to slay the Babylonian general Holofernes after seducing him, is a magnifcent study of character, full of pathos. Judith became celebrated as a saviour of the Hebrew people, and the story was much depicted in Renaissance art. Poynters depiction was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, the show-case for the avant-garde, in 1881, fve years after the Gallerys foundation. The picture retains its original classically ornamented frame designed by the artist, which features theatrical masks. These subtly reinforce both the antiquity of the subject, and the sense of tragic narrative.

    When exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1881 a critic wrote: The reading of the character is original. Judith has a magnifcent head of the Jewish type. There is something subtle and cruelly resolute about her golden tinted lean features, which are high-wrought, nervous and over-susceptible, yet noble in their way, and have been drawn and modelled

    In the original frame

    with completeness and in beautiful style. These features have the fneness of highly wrought bronze. Judiths dark hair is bound by a tawny kerchief; about her neck is a row of deep blue beads. She is in the act of drawing a dagger with a hilt of jade. This is a new and truer type of the avenger of Israel than the big, blonde woman of Northern origin who generally does the deed of blood.

    The necklace that Judith wears are either rough-cut turquoise or blue ceramic beads, separated on a simple strand by coral, green and gold beads. It is probably an Egyptian necklace and a similar example can be seen around the neck of Frances Catherine Howell, the wife of Charles Augustus Howell, in her portrait by Frederick Sandys at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The daggerhead appears to be a jade horsehead, most probably Asian. Poynter chose accessories for his pictures for their aesthetic suitability rather than their historical accurateness. His portrait of Helen of Troy is seen wearing an Indian necklace (1881, Art Gallery of New South Wales).

    Poynter was born in Paris; his father was the architect Ambrose Poynter, his mother the grand-daughter of the sculptor Thomas Banks. He decided to become a painter on meeting Frederic Leighton in Rome in 1854, and Leighton remained his lifetime mentor and hero. Having studied briefy at Leighs drawing academy and the Royal Academy Schools in London, Poynter went to Paris in 1856 for further study in the atelier of Charles Gleyre, a follower of the great J.A.D. Ingres; and it was here that he absorbed the principles of sound academic draughtsmanship that were to be his forte as an artist (for drawings by Poynter see lots 16 and 26).

    Poynter began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1861, but he did not fnd fame until 1865, when he showed Faithful unto Death (Liverpool), an emotive image of a Roman soldier remaining staunchly at his post during the destruction of Pompeii. In 1866 he married Agnes Macdonald, whose sister Georgiana was married to Burne-Jones and in 1867 he scored another success at the RA with Israel in Egypt (Guildhall Art Gallery, London), an elaborate and ambitious work in which he displayed both his academic understanding of the nude and an Alma-Tadema-like capacity for archaeological precision. During the late 1860s and early 1870s he was also involved in a number of major decorative projects: the tile-work for the Grill Room in South Kensington (1868-70, Victoria and Albert Museum, London), a mosaic in the Houses of Parliament (1869), and four large historical paintings for the billiard room at Wortley Hall, near Sheffeld (1871-9). During the 1880s and 1890s he continued to produce large classical pictures. He next worked on his most ambitious picture, the Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (188490, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). Increasingly, however, the majority of his exhibition contributions were small-scale, classical genre pictures.

    Poynter is remembered today not only as an artist but as an outstanding teacher. His pedagogic career began when he was appointed to run the newly-founded Slade School of Art, London, in 1871. He immediately introduced the principles of French art education that he had imbibed himself, and although he resigned in 1875, his place was taken by a Frenchman, Alphonse Legros, while Poynter himself maintained French teaching methods when he moved on to become principal of the National Art Training School at South Kensington. Although he continued to paint to the end, and even resigned the South Kensington post in 1881 because he felt his creative work was suffering, Poynter remained deeply involved in art administration. In 1894 he accepted the directorship of the National Gallery, which at the time traditionally went to a practising artist. He held the post until 1904, combining it for eight years with that of President of the Royal Academy in 1896. He is the only artist ever to have occupied the two positions concurrently, while in remaining PRA until 1918, a year before his death, he enjoyed one of the longest tenures of any incumbent. He was knighted in 1896 and created a baronet in 1902.

  • *8

    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    A study of Mrs Frederick Leyland, bust-length, for Monna Rosasigned with monogram and dated May/ 67 (lower right)

    pencil and sanguine chalk on paper

    12 x 10 in. (31.5 x 27 cm. )

    In the original Foord and Dickinson frame

    25,000-35,000 $37,000-52,000



    with The Stone Gallery, Newcastle.Squadron-Leader D.L. Stevenson; Christies, London, 9 November 1971, lot 151 (one of three in the lot).with Peter Nahum, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    The present drawing is one of a series of studies of Mrs F. R. Leyland (1834-1910), the wife of the Liverpool ship-owner, one of Rossettis most important patrons. The drawings were executed in the summer of 1867 as studies for the painting Monna Rosa (Surtees, op.cit., no. 198). Rossetti also executed a watercolour version of the subject (fg. 1), which remained in the artists possession until his death.

    Leyland (1832-1892) was one of a number of industrialists who commissioned works from the artist. A ruthless self-made businessman who masked his humble origins behind a chilling reserve, Leyland nevertheless became a key fgure in the development of the Aesthetic Movement. Under the guidance of Rossetti, the dealers Murray Marks and Charles Augustus Howell, and the architect Norman Shaw, Leyland was to create two great Aesthetic interiors in London houses in the Knightsbridge area, at 22 Queens Gate from 1868, and at 49 Princes Gate from 1874. The latter was a particularly sumptuous scheme, in which he realised his dream of living the life of an old Venetian merchant in modern London. He also had a fne country house, Speke Hall, near Liverpool.

    Fig. 2: Frontispiece of the Christies catalogue of Frederick Leylands sale, 28 May, 1892

    Fig. 1: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Monna Rosa, 1867, pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour, sold Christies, London, 24 November 2004, lot 30

    Rossetti and Leyland began corresponding in the mid-1860s. In 1865 Rossetti wrote to Leyland stating that he had heard that Leyland wished to buy a painting from him, and offered him Sybilla Palmifera. By 1867 arrangements were being made for Rossetti to paint a portrait of Mrs Leyland. The present drawing corresponds very closely to the fnished work. Other studies of Mrs Leyland exist and the present work is either a study for, or perhaps a suggestion for, the composition of the painting. The fnished painting was expanded to be three-quarter-length. On 18 June 1867 Rossetti wrote to Leyland The picture is much advanced, and in every way altered, as I have again had it considerably enlarged! Unlike the present drawing, the fnished portrait is far from being a character study or an expression of the sitters personality; John Christian describes it as an object designed to take its place in a carefully contrived decorative ensemble. It was in no way a conventional portrait, but an exercise in Aestheticism, the sitter dressed in white and gold drapery, a rose bush grows from a blue-and-white Chinese porcelain jar and in the background are a bamboo and red lacquer stand, and a peacock feather fan hangs on the wall. The present drawing, and others from the series, which Rossetti drew from life, convey an intimacy and immediacy which have disappeared entirely from the fnished work.

    Monna Rosa was among the frst of eighteen paintings that Leyland commissioned from Rossetti, not including unfulflled commissions. By the time of Leylands death in 1892 his considerable collection included works by Burne-Jones (such as The Beguiling of Merlin, now in Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight), Albert Moore, Whistler and others. Around the same time as Rossetti was painting Monna Rosa, Leyland commissioned Whistler to decorate his dining room at Princes Gate. The resulting Peacock Room is considered one of Whistlers greatest works. After Leylands death, the Peacock Room was sold to the American industrialist and art collector Charles Lang Freer. It now resides in the Smithsonian Museums Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The sale of Leylands collection was held in these Rooms on 28 May 1892 (fg. 2).

  • 38


    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

    Portrait of a lady, bust-lengthsigned with monogram and dated 1870 (centre right)

    coloured chalks on pale blue paper

    22 x 16 in. (56.5 x 42.5 cm. )

    30,000-50,000 $45,000-74,000



    Professor Randolph Schwabe.H. Jefferson Barnes; Christies, London, 2 March 1971, lot 71.with Peter Nahum, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    Whilst Rossetti is perhaps best known for his literary or mythological works, he also produced remarkable portrait studies. Despite the immediate differences between his idealised work and his far more realistic portraits, Rossettis fascination with female beauty ties these two disparate aspects of his work together. The professional models he used, such as Alexa Wilding (see lot 5), Marie Ford, and Antonia Caiva, have become well-known names for their part in the creation of the ideal Pre-Raphaelite woman. Yet his portrait sitters were frequently well-known names in their own right; beautiful women with important roles in society.

    Rossetti often depicted family members or the wives and daughters of his friends and patrons in intimate, personal studies, which have an extraordinary realism in light of the idealism he is best known for, for example Mrs. F.R. Leyland (lot 8). The present drawing demonstrates his facility in capturing not only a likeness, but also his sitters personality. With her sharply defned features, still mouth, and direct gaze, there is

    no doubting the strength of the ladys character, which is reinforced by the lack of jewellery or embellishment, and the simplicity of her dress.

    It has not been possible to confrm, but the present drawing has been traditionally identifed as a member of the Ionides family. There is a strong resemblance between the sitter and another drawing by Rossetti of Aglaia Coronis (ne Ionides), now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

    This drawing was formerly in the collection of the artist Randolph Schwabe (1885-1948), who served as a war artist in both World Wars and was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art in 1930; a position he held until his death fourteen years later. Sir Harry Jefferson Barnes (1915-82) studied under Schwabe at the Slade. Their relationship became familial when Barnes married Schwabes daughter Alice in 1941. In 1946 Barnes was appointed Deputy Director of The Glasgow School of Art, becoming its Director in 1964.

  • 40


    Sir William Blake Richmond, R.A. (1842-1921)

    Head study for The Song of Miriamdated Feby 1880 (lower right)

    pencil and black chalk on pale blue paper

    8 x 6 in. (22.2 x 15.2 cm.)

    O2,000-3,000 $3,000-4,400



    Sir John Everett Millais.Anonymous sale; Christies, London, 5 November 1993, lot 113.with Agnews, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    This drawing is a study for the head of one of the central dancers for Blake Richmonds celebrated The Song of Miriam (exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, 1880, no. 136, see lot 11, fg. 1). The painting was commissioned by William Gilstrap and the subject is taken from the Exodus, where Miriam, the sister of Moses, gives thanks for the Israelites safe deliverance from Pharaohs army. The infuence of Leighton, who the younger artist had long admired, is evident, and the painting received widespread critical acclaim despite its being unfnished. Henry Blackburn in Grosvenor Notes described the picture as perhaps the most elaborate and scholarly work of the painter.

    Blake Richmond was the eighth child of the portraitist George Richmond, R.A. (1809-1896) (see lots 34 and 35), and followed his fathers profession, establishing himself as a portraitist of note. His portrait of the The Sisters, depicting Alice (Lewis Carrollss muse for Alices Adventures in Wonderland), Lorina and Edith Liddell is generally regarded as his early masterpiece. He was knighted in 1897 for his design and execution of the mosaics in the apse of St Pauls Cathedral, 1895-1910.

    For another study for The Song of Miriam, see lot 11.

  • 41


    Sir William Blake Richmond, R.A. (1842-1921)

    Head study for The Song of Miriamindistinctly inscribed Salford (lower left)

    black and white chalk on brown paper

    12 x 8 in. (31.2 x 22.3 cm.)

    3,000-5,000 $4,500-7,400



    with Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    As lot 10, this drawing is a study for one of the central dancers in Blake Richmonds The Song of Miriam (fg. 1).

    Fig. 1: Sir William Blake Richmond, The Song of Miriam, oil on canvas, sold Christies, London, 26 November 2003, lot 82

  • 42


    Sir Edward John Poynter, Bt., P.R.A., R.W.S. (1836-1919)

    Head of a young woman, facing rightdated Jan. 6. 82 (centre right)

    sanguine chalk on paper

    7 x 6 in. (17.8 x 17. 2 cm.), irregular

    2,500-3,500 $3,700-5,200



    with The Maas Gallery, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    Poynter was far more academic than his fellow Pre-Raphaelite artists, having trained at the Royal Academy schools and in Paris at the atelier of the Neo-classicist Charles Gleyre. However, he was as equally beguiled as his contemporaries by feminine beauty. Exemplifed by his many portrait head sketches, of which this is a particularly fne example. Dated Jan. 6. 82, this red chalk study is sensitive, capturing a sense of innocence and vulnerability in the sitter with her questioning upward gaze. Poynters masterful handling of the chalk gives a striking immediacy, perfectly capturing her beauty.

  • 43


    Sir William Blake Richmond, R.A. (1842-1921)

    Female head study, looking upsigned, indistinctly inscribed and dated G. Pradeau[/from his friend/

    W.B. Richmond April 15 1882 (lower left) and inscribed Mrs W

    Pradeau (on the reverse, according to previous cataloguing)

    sanguine chalk, heightened with white on buff paper

    16 x 11 in. (40.8 x 29.8 cm.)

    3,000-5,000 $4,500-7,400



    with The Maas Gallery, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    The present sheet appears from the inscription to have been executed during Blake Richmonds frst visit to Greece in the summer of 1882. The trip was such a success that he returned again the following year and as a direct result of these visits he painted An Audience in Athens (Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery).

    This drawing demonstrates the artists extraordinary ability to capture a vivid likeness with just a few judicious strokes.

  • 44


    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)

    The Finding of Medusapencil on paper

    6 x 5 in. (17 x 14.6 cm.)

    4,000-6,000 $5,900-8,900



    with Agnews, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    The present drawing is a study for the Finding of Medusa, the fourth painting in a series of paintings entitled The Perseus Cycle, which drew upon the version of the legend of Perseus that appeared in William Morris The Doom of King Acrisius, from The Earthly Paradise (frst published in 1870).

    ...a third woman paced about the hall, And ever turned her head from wall to wall And moaned aloud, and shrieked in her despair;Because the golden tresses of her hairWere moved by writhing snakes from side to side, That in their writhing oftentimes would glideOn to her breast, or shuddering shoulders white;

    Fig. 1: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, The Finding of Medusa, c.1876, gouache on paper Southampton City Art Gallery/ The Bridgeman Art Library

  • 45


    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)

    A Minstrel: Study for The Millsigned with initials EB-J (lower right)

    pencil on paper

    13 x 7 in. (33.5 x 17.8 cm.)

    12,000-18,000 $18,000-27,000



    Henrietta Litchfeld.Sir Geoffrey Keynes.Margaret Keynes.with Peter Nahum, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    The present drawing is a study for the musician in the far right of Burne-Jones painting The Mill (Victoria & Albert Museum, London, fg. 1), begun in 1870 and according to the artists work record, was worked on intermittently for the next twelve years, particularly in 1870, 1873, 1878, 1879 and 1881. It was fnished shortly before it was exhibited in 1882 at the Grosvenor Gallery. The painting marked a return to a more colourful and romantic style of painting following a period of severe, almost monochromatic classicism. Unlike Rossetti, much of Burne-Jones work has no literary inspiration, but seeks to evoke a mood, in a comparable manner to the effect of music. The painting was purchased by Constantine Ionides, a wealthy stockbroker, who formed a large collection of paintings by contemporary artists. His entire collection was bequeathed to the Victoria & Albert Museum, and as such is the only collection formed in England during the Aesthetic period to have remained together to this day.

    Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1887-1982) was a surgeon, scholar and bibliophile, as well as a prolifc collector of art. He became a leading authority on William Blake, and was fascinated by the intertwining of art and literature in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. Much of his collection was donated to the Fitzwilliam Museum after his death.

    Fig. 1: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, The Mill, 1870, oil on canvas Victoria and Albert Museum/ The Bridgeman Art Library

    In 1875, Arthur Balfour commissioned Burne-Jones to design a series of paintings for his principal drawing room which as Balfour recorded, was as London drawing-rooms go, long and well-lit, and the happy thought occurred to me to ask my new friend to design for it a series of pictures characteristic of his art...The subject I left entirely to him. The choice of the Perseus legend was therefore not mine, but I have never regretted it. Burne-Jones initially devised a sequence of ten (later reduced to eight) subjects mapped out in three large designs, showing their placement within Morris acanthus wallpaper decorative borders.

    Apart from drawing on William Morris for his inspiration, the artist also spent time at the British Museum looking at treatments of the subject on Greek Attic vases. Burne-Jones executed numerous preparatory drawings for the scheme, including small scale studies showing the entire scheme as he conceived it (Tate Britain) as well as full-scale cartoons (Southampton City Art Gallery, fg. 1). Only four designs in oil, all of which are now in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, were completed, along with two further unfnished canvases.

  • 46


    Sir Edward John Poynter, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1826-1919)

    Study of a girls head for Helena and Hermiawith studio stamp (lower right) (L. 874)

    pencil and white chalk on grey paper

    14 x 9 in. (35.5 x 25 cm.)

    O1,000-1,500 $1,500-2,200


    Fig. 1: Sir Edward John Poynter, Helena and Hermia, 1901, oil on canvas Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide/ Elder Bequest Fund 1902


    Sir John Witt (L. 228b).with Peter Nahum, London, where purchased by the present owners.

    The present drawing is a study for the head of the left-hand fgure in Poynters 1901 Royal Academy exhibit Helena and Hermia (fg.1), which was purchased for the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, in 1902. The painting depicts a scene from Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream, Act III, scene ii, where Helena describes their carefree, happy school days together:

    O! Is it all forgot?All schooldays friendship, childhood innocence?We, Hermia, like two artifcial gods, Have with our neelds created both one fower, Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,Both warbling of one song, both in one key, As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds, Had been incorporate.

    Poynter also executed a watercolour of the same subject in 1899.

  • 47


    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)

    A seated female figure covering her ears for The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalonblack, brown, and blue chalk on paper

    12 x 6 in. (30.8 x 16.3 cm.)

    5,000-8,000 $7,400-12,000



    with Peter Nahum, London, where purchased by the present owners.


    P. Nahum, Burne-Jones, The Pre-Raphaelites and their Century, 1989, vol. I, p. 84, no. 73, vol. II, pl. 54b.

    The present drawing is a study for one of the attendant queens sitting with King Arthurs feet in her lap in The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon (Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, fg. 1). Burne-Jones study of the nude seated form, prior to depicting the draped fgure that we see in the painting, demonstrates his working practice and the importance he placed on fully understanding the mechanics of the human form. A photograph taken by Frederick Hollyer during the painting of the picture, shows that the nude fgures were laid in and then dressed at a later stage; the present drawing was copied almost exactly for the fgure i