A study for the oil painting The Beloved (The Bride, 1865-66), now in the Tate collection. The inspiration for the painting came from a passage in the Song of Solomon: 'She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins that bear her fellows shall be her company.' Eight figure studies for the painting survive. For the young black attendant, there are studies of both male and female figures, Rossetti finally choosing the latter, although it is thought that he perhaps only used a male model.

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


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
2nd study for black girl [bottom right]. [Verso]: Study of / by D. G. Rossetti / April [?] 1865 / For the figure holding a golden / cup full of roes in the picture / of "the Beloved" from the Song / of Solomon / Bought together with other studies by / the artist by George P. Boyce. May 22. 1865 / Boyce. May 22 1865
Notes - Handwritten - Pencil


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Pictures, Drawings, Designs and Studies by the Late Dante Gabriel Rossetti
127 Burlington Fine Arts Club, London 1883 - 1883
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
- Midlands Federation, Lichfield 1961 - 1961
Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900
84 Manchester Art Gallery 2005-10-15 - 2006-01-06
84 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 2006-01-28 - 2006-04-02


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 under no. 177.
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons, Ltd., Derby p. 331.
Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
John Robert Wahl, Oswald Doughty 1967 Oxford University Press, Oxford p. 535.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882, The Paintings and Drawings: A Catalogue Raisonne
Virginia Surtees 1971 Oxford University Press, London vol. 1, no. 182F, p. 106; vol. 2, pl. 269.
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Andrea Rose 1977 The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London no. 1F5.
Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900
Jan Marsh 2005 Lund Humphries, Aldershot p. 160.


George P Boyce; probably Boyce sale, Christie's 1 July 18976 (lot 26) £18. 18s.; Charles Fairfax Murray.

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