The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Search the Collection

Fanny Cornforth (née Sarah Cox)

(1835-circa 1909), Artists' model and intimate companion of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sitter in 1 portrait
Pre-Raphaelite artists' model cast predominantly as the 'fallen woman' by painters Dante Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and John Stanhope. According to her recollection, Rossetti encountered her one evening and flicked her hair with his finger 'Then made all sorts of apologies, and nothing would do but that I should go to his studio and sit for him'. Cornforth's life was punctuated by an unrequited relationship with Rossetti who never introduced her to his family, eventually abandoning their relationship and financial support. Banished from attending his funeral, she used her life savings to lease a tavern in London with her husband. After his death she gradually sold artworks and memorabilia to collectors.

More on Fanny Cornforth: Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition catalogue in our Shops

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

Fanny Cornforth (née Sarah Cox) ('Lady Lilith'), published by The Medici Society Ltd, after  Dante Gabriel Rossetti - NPG D37339

Fanny Cornforth (née Sarah Cox) ('Lady Lilith')

published by The Medici Society Ltd, after Dante Gabriel Rossetti
chromolithograph, published 1908 (1867)
On display in Room 36 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG D37339

Category

Place

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.