Watts Gallery celebrates the legacy of Christina Rossetti

Watts Gallery celebrates the legacy of Christina Rossetti

11 Mar 2019 - 11:57 BY The Arts Society

The Victorian poet Christina Rossetti was inextricably tied to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, inspiring and collaborating with artists (including her brother Dante Gabriel). Watts Gallery celebrates her legacy with paintings, illustrations, works on paper and photography, including her own little-known forays into drawing. Here are five highlights from the show.

John Brett
Portrait of Christina Rossetti

Private Collection

Depicting Christina Rossetti at the age of 26, this work is a rare portrait from John Brett, best known for his Pre-Raphaelite-inspired landscape paintings. It is believed that the pair first met in Surrey in the summer of 1857, when Rossetti visited the Epps family home in Warlingham, where Brett regularly gave drawing lessons to the Epps sisters.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
frontispiece and title page to Goblin Market

Stephen Calloway

Dante Gabriel Rossetti executed this design for the title page of his sister's volume Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), considered to be a classic of Victorian literature.

Julia Margaret Cameron
The Minstrel Group, 1866


The innovative photographer Julia Margaret Cameron inscribed some copies of this photograph with lines from Christina Rossetti’s 1862 poem Advent: ‘We sing a slow contented song / and knock at Paradise.’ The subject matter of the poem is religious, but Cameron emphasises the musical association.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
double portrait of Christina Gabriel Rossetti and Frances Rossetti

National Portrait Gallery

During a period of convalescence near Herne Bay, Dante Gabriel Rossetti became extremely depressed. For a while, he thought that he might never paint again. But he eventually undertook a number of sketches including this remarkable chalk double portrait of his mother and sister.

Edward Robert Hughes
Oh What’s That in the Hollow…, c1895

Royal Watercolour Society

This dreamy but sinister work by Edward Robert Hughes was inspired by Christina Rossetti's poem Amor Mundi, in which two lovers stumble across a woodland corpse.


Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse
Watts Gallery, until 17 March, wattsgallery.org.uk

The exhibition is curated by Arts Society Accredited Lecturer, Susan Owens. 


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