Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - The Raven
  • The Raven
    Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, born 1828 - died 1882
  • Enlarge image

The Raven

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1848 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, born 1828 - died 1882 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Felix Moeller

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 132, box O

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.

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.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1848 (drawn)


Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, born 1828 - died 1882 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink on paper


Height: 40 cm framed, Width: 35 cm framed, Height: 22.9 cm, Width: 21.6 cm

Descriptive line

D.G. Rossetti: The Raven (an illustration to Edgar Allan Poe's poem of that name), c.1848

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

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


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Raven; Interiors


Drawings; Illustration


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.