Replica of Beata Beatrix
Date: c. 1900-1910
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 34 x 27 in. (86.4 x 68.6 cm) frame: 43 1/2 x 36 in. (110.5 x 91.4 cm)
Credit Line: Acquisition Fund, 1985
Object Number: 1985-6
About: Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Siddal was working in a milliner’s shop when she was first asked to model by Walter Deverell, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. She went on to pose for many of the other artists of the group, eventually becoming the student, lover, and wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This replica was painted by Rossetti’s studio assistant, Charles Fairfax Murray. Rossetti’s painting memorialized Siddal, who died in 1862 of an overdose of laudanum— an opium derivative—only two years after the couple were married. The image, drawn from Dante Alighieri’s Vita Nuova (c. 1293), captures the poignant moment in the text when Beatrice is summoned to heaven. The bird carrying the poppy announces her death while Dante, her beloved, stands in the street beyond.
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