An illustration to Browning's poem 'The Laboratory', set in the eighteenth-century, this is Rossetti's first work in watercolour. An alchemist seated in his labortaory accepts jewellery from a woman in payment for poison to destroy her rival. The painting illustrates the lines 'In this devil's smithy Where is the poison to poison her prithee?''.

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


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Pictures, Drawings, Designs and Studies by the Late Dante Gabriel Rossetti
2 Burlington Fine Arts Club, London 1883 - 1883
Works by English Pre-Raphaelite Painters Lent by the Art Gallery Committee of the Birmingham Corporation
54 Tate Gallery, London 1911-12 - 1912-03
Exhibition of British Art c. 1000-1860
- Royal Academy of Arts, London 1934-01-06 - 1934-03-10
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
95 City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham 1947-06-07 - 1947-07-27
Paintings and Drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and their Followers
55 Russell-Coates Art Gallery, Bournemouth 1951-06-04 - 1951-08-07
Pre-Raphaelite Art: Paintings, Drawings, Engravings, Sculpture, Chintzes, Wallpapers: An Exhibition Arranged by the State Art Galleries of Australia
65 Australian State Galleries (Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney) 1962-03 - 1962-10
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
54 Royal Academy of Arts, London 1973-01-13 - 1973-03-11
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
9 Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo 1990-09-22 - 1990-11-14
9 Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya 1990-11-17 - 1990-12-09
9 Ishibashi Museum of Art, Kurume 1991-01-08 - 1991-02-14
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
47 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 2003-10-16 - 2004-01-18
47 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 2004-02-27 - 2004-06-06


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
F G Stephens 1894 Seely and Co. Ltd., London pp. 26-28.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: an Illustrated Memorial of his Art and Life
H C Marillier 1899 George Bell and Sons, London no. 14; pp. 34-45.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882, The Paintings and Drawings: A Catalogue Raisonne
Virginia Surtees 1971 Oxford University Press, London vol. 1, no. 41, p. 11; vol. 2, pl. 25.
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Andrea Rose 1977 The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London no. 1A2.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Edwin Becker, Elizabeth Prettejohn, Julian Treuherz 2003 Waanders, Zwolle p. 162.


William Bell Scott; Charles Fairfax Murray

Associated people

Name Type
Robert Browning Author

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