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Drawing - The Blessed Damozel
  • The Blessed Damozel
    Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, born 1828 - died 1882
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The Blessed Damozel

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1875 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Black and red chalk on pale green paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by R. J. Dyson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room WS, case R, shelf 51, box R

The 'Blessed Damozel' was originally a poem by Rossetti about the yearning of a loved one in heaven. It was written in 1848 and first published in 1850 in the Pre-Raphaelite magazine The Germ, although frequently revised thereafter. In 1871 Rossetti was commissioned to create a visual version of the poem. This is the second of two sketches for the painting, which is in a private collection. The model was Alexa Wilding. She is clad like an angel in white but her appearance is nonetheless corporeal and sensuous. It is an excellent example of Rossetti's skill in handling chalks.

Physical description

Study in red chalk for The Blessed Damozel, depicting a portrait of a woman, quarter-length at a table, holding a writing quill. The head and face are executed in detail but the body, table and quill are roughly sketched.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1875 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Black and red chalk on pale green paper


Height: 78.7 cm, Width: 71.1 cm, Height: 107 cm framed, Width: 94.1 cm framed, Depth: 4 cm framed

Object history note

Note: This drawing is reproduced facing p. 190 in H. C. Marillier's Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London, 1899. It is the second of two studies, both in red chalk, which were made for the picture and was No. 96 in the sale of William Graham's pictures at Christie's, April 1886.

Descriptive line

Study in red chalk for The Blessed Damozel, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Great Britain, 1875.

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
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Engraving Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1946. London: Published under the Authority of the Ministry of Education, 1949.
Debussy. La Musique et les Arts Paris: musee de l'Orangerie, 2012. ISBN: 978-2-0812-7972-8.


Chalk; Paper






Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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