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In the late 1860s Rossetti became increasingly obsessed with the wife of his good friend William Morris. She gradually took over the role of muse left vacant after the death of Elizabeth Siddal. Just as he had worked obsessively at drawing Siddal, so he now worked on the image of Morris. He moved away from small detailed works toward large-scale powerful female figures. This image of Jane may be taken from a description of Beatrice in Dante's ‘The New Life’, a reference usually reserved for Siddal: ‘Whatever her sweet eyes are turned upon, Spirits of love do issue thence in flame’.
pastel & pencil on paper
H 101.8 x W 76.1 cm (E)
Drawing & watercolour