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William Michael Rossetti; Dante Gabriel Rossetti

3 of 29 portraits of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

William Michael Rossetti; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, by (Henry) Mark Anthony, circa 1853 -NPG P1273(26h) - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

William Michael Rossetti; Dante Gabriel Rossetti

by (Henry) Mark Anthony
Albumen print, circa 1853
2 3/4 in. x 2 1/8 in. (71 mm x 55 mm)
NPG P1273(26h)


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This portraitback to top

This is one of two images taken by a friend of the Rossetti brothers, around 1853, when Dante Gabriel Rossetti would have been aged about 25. They appear to be wearing formal dress and were perhaps on their way to an event on a summer evening. Dante Gabriel has his hands on his hips and is looking away from William, who leans with his left elbow on his brother’s shoulder. In the variant pose, Dante Gabriel is to the left, the figures are half-length and both men look towards the camera. Describing the variant image in 1889, William wrote: ‘On one occasion my brother and I stood for Anthony to photograph together; my brother held my right arm. He appears at half-length … the forehead large and broad, the facial line tapering towards the point of the chin.’ He added that ‘This photographic print has now nearly faded off the paper – which is a pity, as it seems to be the only sun-picture of Rossetti taken at such an early date.’ [1]

Later, William must have discovered the present image, which is contained in the Rossetti album offered for sale to the National Portrait Gallery by the antiquarian booksellers Ian Hodgkins & Co. Ltd. The album bears W.M. Rossetti’s label ‘24: Gabriel, Family, Miscellaneous’ and is inscribed on the fly-leaf ‘W.M. Rossetti / 1898’. It is equally faded, but valuable as a full-length likeness of Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his slim, youthful days.

Henry Mark Anthony was a landscape artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1837. A close friend of Ford Madox Brown, he attended a Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood party in Newman Street, London on 12 January 1850. William Rossetti praised his work in the Spectator, and Dante Gabriel later introduced him to the patron James Leathart.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Rossetti 1889a, pp.57–8; see Maas 1984, fig.210, p.110 and Fredeman 2002–10, vol.1, frontispiece.

Physical descriptionback to top

Nearly whole-length, standing, half-profile to right; on left his brother William Michael.

Provenanceback to top

William Rossetti; Rossetti Family by descent; Dominic Winter Book Auctions, June 2004 (34); Ian Hodgkins & Co, from whom purchased 2007.

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