Apple Blossom
Date: c. 1878
Medium: Graphite, ink, watercolor, and gouache on buff laid paper
Dimensions: sheet: 9 9/16 × 7 11/16 in. (24.3 × 19.5 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
Object Number: 1935-219
About: During the last years of Rossetti’s life, Frederic Shields assisted him in a broad range of tasks, in return for the use of his studio in Cheyne Walk. This detailed and closely observed drawing of apple blossoms was created by Shields as a visual aid for Rossetti’s A Vision of Fiammetta (now in the collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber). In the final painting the central figure is surrounded by apple blossoms, a reference to the sonnet by Boccaccio entitled “On his Last Sight of Fiammetta,” which inspired the composition. The sonnet begins, Behold Fiammetta, shown in Vision here. Gloom-girt ‘mid Spring-flushed apple-growth she stands…
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