Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Illustrations for Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1862)
Black-and-white illustration of girl surrounded by goblins


Dante Gabriel Rossetti designed his sister Christina Rossetti's collection of poetry, Goblin Market and Other Poems, in 1862, using the title poem as the subject for his illustrations His distinctive cover, illustrative frontispiece, and a title-page vignette, made the work a Pre-Raphaelite collaboration of art and poetry. The material format of the book, as well as its contents, indicate that it was aimed at an adult audience in its first publication. The elegant cover design, a geometric arrangement in gold on dark blue cloth boards, is utterly unlike other bindings of the period.  Composed of simple horizontal and vertical lines ornamented with a motif of three circles, the binding design is referenced in both frontispiece and title-page, adding to the aesthetic unity of the volume. The cover's triangle of circles is repeated in the pattern on Laura's dress in the frontispiece, "Buy from us with a golden curl," while the linear rules are recalled in the border around the title-page vignette, "Golden head by golden head." D.G. Rossetti designed the two black-and-white illustrations in pen and ink, then transferred them to woodblocks, where they were engraved for reproduction. In each case, the engraver's signature appears along with the artist’s at the bottom of the illustration. The frontispiece was engraved by the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Co (MMF), and the title-page vignette was engraved by W. J. Linton (WJL). These wood-engraved illustrations are among the most famous of the entire Victorian period and influenced numerous subsequent artists. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Pre-Raphaelite style of illustration, which typically focused on a central, foregrounded character or characters in a densely detailed and decorative surrounding, is evident in both of his Goblin Market illustrations. 

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Illustrations for Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1862)


  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Image Date: 

Mar 1862