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     Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (12th May 1828-9th April 1882)

    He was a poet, translator, illustrator and painter born Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti in London, England to a family who had emigrated from Italy.  His father was an Italian scholar, his brother William was a critic, his sister Maria was an author and co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and his sister Christina was a poet who had written the popular Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter”. 


    He studied at King’s College School followed by Henry Sass’s Drawing Academy and in 1845 he entered the Antique School of the Royal Academy.  He left the Academy in 1848 and took studies with the painter Ford Madox Brown who became a lifelong friend.  After developing the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood philosophies he began to publish Italian medieval translations and also works of Dante as well as painting using an early style.  He also transcribed the carol “Baloo Lammy” in the 1850s. 


    He married the painter Elizabeth Siddal in 1860.  He received the support from the art critic John Ruskin but owing to other poor reviews from others he decided to cease exhibiting his painting and started to concentrate on working privately using watercolours. 


    Continuing to work on his poetry translations he published a set of them in his book The Early Italian Poets in 1861.  He also worked as a designer with his friend William Morris where he provided stained glass images. 


    His wife committed suicide after their child was stillborn and his own subsequent depression caused him to bury the majority of his poems with her.  He did however, later exhume them and paint images of his wife in several influential paintings. 


    He became obsessed with wombats for some reason and often met his friends at London Zoo’s Wombat Lair.  He also owned two of the animals as pets. 


    He published a controversial book of poetry entitled Poems by D.G. Rossetti in 1870 where the series entitled The House of Life portrayed the development and feelings of an intimate relationship.  He published a further volume in 1881, Ballads and Sonnets, which completed this series. 


    He slipped in a further state of depression and became a recluse.  He went to stay at a friend’s country house in failing health, worsened by his addiction to drugs and alcohol, and passed away there in 1882 on Easter Sunday.



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti
    2. http://www.neuroticpoets.com/rossetti/
    3. http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/rossetti.html
    4. http://www.rossettiarchive.org/
    5. http://www.answers.com/topic/dante-gabriel-rossetti
    6. http://www.nla.gov.au/grants/haroldwhite/papers/atrumble.html
    7. http://lizziesiddal.com/portal/
    8. http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/baloo_lammy.htm
    9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paintings_by_Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti














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