An illustration of Dante's second sonnet, addressed to Guido Cavalcanti and Lapo degli Ubenti. The picture was commissioned by William Graham in 1873 (in the same year Frederick Leyland comissioned another version on a larger scale, but this does not appear to have been begun). The painting was begun in 1874 but was abandoned in 1881 because of a disagreement with Graham over terms. Thereafter it remained in the artist's studio until his death, when it was purchased for the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. In our archival file is unpublished information relating to the painting in preparation for Henry Treffry Dunn's 'Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his Circle' (1904). We also have seven pencil studies for this subject.

  • Purchased, 1883.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Loan Exhibition of Works by Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelites
142 City of Manchester Art Gallery 1911-09-14 - 1911-11
Works by English Pre-Raphaelite Painters Lent by the Art Gallery Committee of the Birmingham Corporation
53 Tate Gallery, London 1911-12 - 1912-03
True Romance
- Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany 2008-02-21 - 2008-05-18
- Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany 2008-05-31 - 2008-09-07


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: an Illustrated Memorial of his Art and Life
H C Marillier 1899 George Bell and Sons, London no. 264; pp. 63; 176; 203.
Chronological List, with notes, of Paintings and Drawings from Dante by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Paget Jackson Toynbee 1912 Frateli Bocca, Turin no. 75; pl. 158.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Helen Rossetti Angeli 1949 Hamilton, London pp. 35-36.
City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham: Catalogue of Paintings
1960 City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham p.126-127
1968 Apollo p. 246.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882, The Paintings and Drawings: A Catalogue Raisonne
Virginia Surtees 1971 Oxford University Press, London vol. 1, no. 239, pp. 136-37; vol. 2, pl. 344.


Comissioned by William Graham but abandoned; Rossetti sale, Christie's, 12 May 1883 (lot 99), bought by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for £126.

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Dante Author

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