Proserpine (1878), watercolour
Proserpine DGR - Watercolour


‘here is no harm, no crime, but love and passion’ 
Something of an outlier in the series of Rossetti’s ‘most favourite’ composition, this Proserpine, completed in 1878 - shown by the scroll detail in the bottom left-hand corner, is painted in watercolour rather than oil. Rossetti’s love affairs with ‘The Stunners’, including his wife Elizabeth Siddal and mistresses Jane Morris and Fanny Cornforth were famously turbulent, built on passionate and unlawful relationships. Though possessing a strength of colour unseen in many nineteenth-century watercolours, the softer tones create a far more ethereal colour palette, which might seem in conflict with the painter's conflicting passions.

Watercolour reproduction, 1878
Unknown dimensions
Originally commissioned by a F.S. Ellis

Associated Place(s)


  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Image Date: