Rossetti, Dante Gabriel

Biography: Italian painter and poet. Born London, 1828. Baptised Gabriel Charles Dante, but changed his name 1849. Family was Italian but never visited Italy himself. Educated King's College School, 1837-41, drawing academy 1841-5. Entered the Antique Academy of the Royal Academy 1845, applied to Ford Madox Brown for private tuition 1847. Formed a sketching club with John Millais and Holman Hunt 1847-8. Formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with Millais, Hunt, Thomas Woolner, James Collinson, Frederick Stephens, and Rossetti's brother William, 1848-53. Went to Paris with Millais 1849. Refused to exhibit publicly after criticism in 1850. Began teaching at the Working Man's College, founded by John Ruskin, 1855. Began to get commissions c.1856. Married his model Elizabeth Siddal 1860, who committed suicide 1862. Rossetti placed a collection of poetry in her grave, which was exhumed in 1869 so he could get the collection back. Travelled to Belgium 1863, then Paris 1864. Sold 40 paintings 1862-4. Started to collect remembrances of Elizabeth Siddal 1865, attended and hosted seances. Began to drink heavily 1866, also became very preocuupied with his health and infatuated with Jane Morris around the same time. Published a volume of poetry 1870. Criticised by Robert Buchanan 1871 for being lewd and obscene. Suffered a breakdown 1872 and attempted suicide, began taking whisky and chloral (a sedative drug which he became addicted to). Moved to Kelmscott 1873 where Jane Morris visited him, but returned to London soon after. Overdosed on chloral 1879. Suffered a mild stroke December 1881. Travelled to Birchington to visit an old friend, died there April 1882.

Biography Date: 1828-82

Biography References: LOC; CERL; DNB; Drummond 307;


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