Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Theodore Watts-Dunton

1 portrait

Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Theodore Watts-Dunton, by Henry Treffry Dunn, 1882 - NPG 3022 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Theodore Watts-Dunton

by Henry Treffry Dunn
gouache and watercolour, 1882
21 3/8 in. x 32 1/4 in. (543 mm x 819 mm) overall
Purchased, 1939
Primary Collection
NPG 3022


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Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Rossetti, a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was both a painter and a poet, and was closely associated with Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. Watts-Dunton, a solicitor as well as critic, novelist and poet, became Rossetti's companion in his later years. In this portrait the poet reads the proofs of his Ballads and Sonnets to Watts-Dunton. They are sitting together in the ground-floor drawing-room of the house they shared in Cheyne Walk, a room which was described by the artist Treffry Dunn as 'One of the prettiest and most curiously furnished old-fashioned parlours that I had ever seen. Mirrors and looking-glasses of all shapes, sizes and design lined the walls. Whichever way I looked I saw myself gazing at myself. What space there was left was filled up with pictures, chiefly old and of an interesting character'. The picture above Watts-Dunton's head is Rossetti's double portrait of his mother Lavinia and his sister, the poet Christina, which is also in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 990: Christina Georgina Rossetti; Frances Mary Lavinia Rossetti (nee Polidori) (appears within the portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 135
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 150
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 534