The Raven

Drawing
ca. 1848 (drawn)
The Raven thumbnail 1
The Raven thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a literal illustration of verses 12-14 of the poem 'The Raven', a tale of the supernatural by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1845.

The raven perches on a bust of Pallas Athene above the door. Ghostly figures of angels--the seraphim of the Bible--are swinging unseen censers to perfume the air. (The presence of an unexplained perfume was often taken as evidence that a ghost or spectre was present). The narrator is seated in the foreground, and a portrait of his lost lover Lenore is faintly visible on the far wall. Rossetti was always interested in the subject of lovers separated by death, and painted versions of many such stories from a range of literary sources, both contemporary and historic.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink on paper
Brief Description
D.G. Rossetti: The Raven (an illustration to Edgar Allan Poe's poem of that name), c.1848
Physical Description
To the viewer's right a man is seated with crossed legs looking left. Beside him is a table with a lamp on it. On the other side of the table are some indistinct figures. Above on a ledge to the left a raven is perched. In the background is a bookcase with a picture hanging beside it.
Dimensions
  • Framed height: 40cm
  • Framed width: 35cm
  • Height: 22.9cm
  • Width: 21.6cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mrs Felix Moeller
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceEdgar Allan Poe: The Raven (1845)
Summary
This is a literal illustration of verses 12-14 of the poem 'The Raven', a tale of the supernatural by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1845.



The raven perches on a bust of Pallas Athene above the door. Ghostly figures of angels--the seraphim of the Bible--are swinging unseen censers to perfume the air. (The presence of an unexplained perfume was often taken as evidence that a ghost or spectre was present). The narrator is seated in the foreground, and a portrait of his lost lover Lenore is faintly visible on the far wall. Rossetti was always interested in the subject of lovers separated by death, and painted versions of many such stories from a range of literary sources, both contemporary and historic.
Bibliographic References
  • Owens, Susan, The Art of Drawing British Masters And Methods Since 1600, V&A Publishing, London, 2013, p. 129, fig. 103
  • Fagence Cooper, Suzanne, Pre Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, V&A Publications, 2003. 176p., ill. ISBN I 85177 393 2
Collection
Accession Number
E.3415-1922

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL