The Girlhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1849, oil on canvas.

Title: The Childhood of Mary Virgin
Date: 1849
Movement: Pre-Raphaelite

The painting depicts a young Virgin Mary working on an embroidery under the guidance of her mother. Her father is pruning a vine in the background. The symbolic details of the painting include lilies alluding to the Virgin’s purity, the passion of Christ in the palm, branch and thorn on the floor, and books alluding to the virtues of faith, hope and charity. This was the first oil painting completed by Rossetti and the first to be exhibited with the initials of PRB, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, inscription.

Artist: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Born: 12 May 1828, London, UK
Nationality: British
Died: 9 April 1882, Kent, UK

Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, known as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was a painter, illustrator, poet and translator. He was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, along with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti also was the main inspiration for a second generation of Pre-Raphaelite influenced artists and poets such as William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Characterized by its sensuality and medieval revivalism Rossetti’s art was a notable influence on the European Symbolists and the Aesthetic movement. His personal life was closely connected to his work, especially in his relationship with his muses and models Jane Morris, Elizabeth Siddal and Fanny Cornforth. Rossetti died at Easter 1882 as a result of drug addiction and Bright’s Disease and is buried at All Saints churchyard at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, UK.

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