|Dante Gabriel Rossetti (c.1844) Filippo Maenza|
|(Sept 1845) Paul Jonnard after John Hancock|
|(1848) Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
He's late teens and looking as hot as York in August. All the girls love this image of the revolutionary artist, forming the brotherhood and working on his smolder. Look at the faint shadow forming on the bridge of his nose between his eyebrows. That deepens as the years pass, but in 1848 he was looking beardless and gorgeous.
|Detail from Isabella and Lorenzo (1849)|
|Sketch for Detail (1848) J E Millais|
Millais is an artist who spoke the truth, especially in his sketches, so in the detail sketch on the right, you have a very honest image of the young, flowing-haired man, not completely removed from the very romantic self-portrait. It's possible to discern the curl of his hair on his forehead. I think I better have a bit of a sit down.
|(1849) Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|William Michael and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1853) Henry Mark Anthony|
|(1853) William Holman Hunt|
It is then almost ten years until the next clear image of Rossetti is taken, this time in photo form, where nothing can be glammed up, airbrushed or faked. If you had no notion of what had occurred in the years between 1853 and 1862, surely the look on his face would tell you something devastating had happened...
|(December 1862) W & D Downey|
|(7 October 1863) Lewis Carroll|
A year later, and he had settled into Cheyne Walk with a vengeance The series of photographs taken by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll), show Rossetti of the Middle Years, plump and vaguely dapper. I don't think it is even vaguely ironic that he is pictured playing games with his family.
|(October 1863) Lewis Carroll|
The formality and control appears to have returned to Rossetti in this very self-aware portrait. He looks like someone has actually pressed his clothes for a change. Comparing the image to the year before, you can see how much he has pulled himself back in. He is neat, he is ready and he knows people are looking.
|William bell Scott, John Ruskin and D G Rossetti (29 June 1863) W & D Downey|
In between those two images lies this series of oddities. Really, I don't know where to start with how peculiar this now appears. No, Bell Scott, no-one wants to hold your hand, you horrible man. Mind you, Rossetti just got further with Ruskin than Effie did. Moving on.
|(1870) Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|(1871) G F Watts|
|(1875-1880) D G Rossetti|
|Broadlands Portrait (mid 1870s) DGR is allegedly far right, leaning on the pillar|
The end came all too soon and despite his wishes not to be recorded in death, both 2- and 3-dimensional renderings were taken.
|The Dead Rossetti (1882) Frederic Shields|
|Death Mask (1882) Brucciani and Co|
In my opinion the worst portrait of Rossetti is the memorial by Ford Madox Brown where he resembles a Panto Shakespeare...
So there it should end, but just as Rossetti's fame cause his dead body to be recorded, then too, his likeness rose again with the advent of film and television. You want your Rossetti alive again? Well, how about this...
|Oliver Reed in Dante's Inferno (1967)|
|Ben Kingsley in The Love School (1975)|
|Aidan Turner in Desperate Romantics (2009)|
|Rossetti and Watts Dunton at 16 Cheyne Walk (1882) Henry Treffry Dunn|