Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) Study for Saint Joachim for 'The Girlhood of the Virgin Mary'
12¾ x 9 in. (32.4 x 22.8 cm.) Framed: 19 x 16in. (48 x 40.5 cm.) Signed with initials, inscription and dated (in the hand of William Holman Hunt) ''Study's by Rossetti of St Joachim done in/my study in Cleveland St. 1848. W.H.H.'' (lower right). Black chalk, irregular shaped. Framed and Glazed in a gild contemporary frame. In very good condition.
The present Drawing is a study for the completed early masterpiece 'The Girlhood of Mary Virgin' painted by Rossetti in 1848, today in the national collection of Tate Britain, London.
with The Stone Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Literature: Virginia Surtees, 'The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti', Oxford 1971A Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 1, p11 no. 40B.
This important early drawing is a study for The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, Rossetti's first major painting and one of the very first products of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, when Rossetti, at the time just twenty year old, shared a studio with William Holman Hunt for a brief period in August 1848. It was during this Summer that the Painting (now at Tate Britain to whom it was bequeathed in 1937) was composed and our drawing must have been executed. The Painting at Tate shows the youthful Virgin embroidering a piece of needlework with her mother St Anne beside her, and in the middle distance to the left her father, St Joachim, tends a vine.
Only two studies for The Girlhood of Mary Virgin are known: the present sketch for St Joachim and a study for the young Virgin and St Anne (Surtees, 1971).
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, painter and illustrator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement. Rossetti's art was characterized by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His poetry was characterized by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling and his personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Elizabeth Siddal, whom he married in 1860, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement. He is considered one of the giants of his period and a as Roger Fry wrote in 1916, "Rossetti more than any other artist since Blake may be hailed as a forerunner of new ideas in English Art.
The last image shows the finished Painting at Tate Britain 'The Girlhood of Mary Virgin'.