Information

The Seed of David was a large triptych commissioned by Llandaff Cathedral for a reredos (decorative screen). William Morris sat for the character of King David, and this study is a striking early portrait of him, aged 27. His appearance was described by his biographer J. W. Mackail:'His hair remained through life of extraordinary beauty, very thick, fine and strong ... his general appearance at this time [showed] the massive head, the slightly knitted brow, the narrow eye-slits and heavy underlids, the delicately beautiful mouth and chin only half-veiled by the slight beard.'

  • Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1903.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Makers

Association Artist Organisation
Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti -

Exhibitions

Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
William Morris Centenary
331 Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1934 - 1934
 
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
226 City Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham 1947-06-07 - 1947-07-27
 
Ruskin and his Circle
262 Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1964 - 1964
 
Morris & Company in Cambridge
7 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge 1980-09-30 - 1980-11-16
 
William Morris and Kelmscott
8 West Surrey College, Farnham 1981-11 - 1981-12
 
William Morris Today
no cat no Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 1984-03-01 - 1984-04-29
 
Exhibition Marking 175th Anniversary of St. Martin-on-the-Hill - Bodley, Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites
60 Scarborough Art Gallery 1988-08-20 - 1988-10-01
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
132 Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo 1990-09-22 - 1990-11-14
132 Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya - - 1990-12-09
132 Ishibashi Museum of Art, Kurume 1991-01-08 - 1991-02-14
 
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
55 Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
55 Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1995-07-16
55 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
55 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas - - 1996-01-02
55 High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia 1996-01-23 - 1996-04-10
55 Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery 1996-05-25 - 1996-09-29
 
William Morris
A12 Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1996-05-09 - 1996-09-01
 
Simply Stunning
- Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum 1996-06-15 - 1996-08-31
- Burton Art Gallery, Bideford 1996-09-07 - 1996-10-18
- Cartwright Hall, Bradford 1996-11-02 - 1996-10-18
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
66 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 2003-10-16 - 2004-01-18
66 Van Gogh Museum 2004-02-27 - 2004-06-06
66 V & A, London 08/05/1996 - 01/09/1996
66 I. C. A. Gallery 01/03/1984 - 29/04/1984
66 USA- 5 venues touring 1995 - 1996
 

Literature

Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
'William Morris Designer'
G H Crow Winter, 1934. Studio p. 27.
 
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons, Ltd., Derby p. 324.
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882, The Paintings and Drawings: A Catalogue Raisonne
Virginia Surtees 1971 Oxford University Press, London vol. 1, no. 105J, p. 60; vol. 2. pl. 144.
 
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Andrea Rose 1977 The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London no. 1D9.
 
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England.
Stephen Wildman 1995 Arts Services International, Alexandria, Virginia pp. 192-93.
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Edwin Becker, Elizabeth Prettejohn, Julian Treuherz 2003 Waanders, Zwolle pp. 170-71.

Provenance

William Michael Rossetti, Charles Fairfax Murray

Associated people

Name Type
William Morris Artist's model

Associated places

Name Type
Llandaff Cathedral -

Related work & resources

Discuss this work

Start a discussion about this work.

You need to login to discuss this work. Click here to login.

If you are not yet registered click here to become a member.
Find out more about membership