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Drawing - Maria Zambaco
  • Maria Zambaco
    Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, born 1828 - died 1882
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Maria Zambaco

  • Object:


  • Date:

    late 1860s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Coloured chalks

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case R, shelf 48, box R

Maria Zambaco, born Maria Cassavetti, left her husband in Paris in 1866 and became a leading light in London's Greek community. She sat regularly for several artists, including Burne-Jones, to whom she became romantically attached. She also sat for Rossetti. This portrait of her, with her expressive eyes and lips, soft skin and rich, auburn-tinted brown hair, demonstrates his mastery of the use of soft chalks. He used soft chalks increasingly in preference to the more cumbersome medium of oil paint.


late 1860s (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Coloured chalks


Height: 51.6 cm, Width: 38.9 cm, Height: 738 mm gilt frame, Width: 604 mm gilt frame, Depth: 30 mm gilt frame

Descriptive line

Portrait in coloured chalks of Maria Zambaco by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, late 1860s.

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

Fagence Cooper, Suzanne, Pre Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, V&A Publications, 2003. 176p., ill. ISBN I 85177 393 2

Labels and date

Maria Zambaco (born Cassavetti) was a first cousin of Constantine Ionides. She was a sculptor, although she remains better known as a model for other artists. Her features appear repeatedly in the paintings of Rossetti's friend Edward Burne-Jones, whose affair with the tempestuous Zambaco in the late 1860s came close to wrecking his domestic and artistic existence. [May 2008]


Drawings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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