"My own belief is that I am a poet primarily, and that it is my poetic tendencies that chiefly give value to my pictures."
Leading light of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) is best known today for his vivid, sensuous pictures. But he was drawn to both poetry and painting from boyhood, and after early successes aimed to pursue a dual career. Alongside his paintings and drawings, he produced original verse and an acclaimed volume of translations from Italian authors, including his namesake Dante Alighieri.
As he prepared his own poems for publication, however, his wife died tragically and in a sacrificial gesture, Rossetti placed his manuscript in her coffin. But the creative impulse would not lie dormant: Seven years later the grave was opened and the poems were published. Much praised, their sensuality also attracted such opprobrium that Rossetti's mental health collapsed. To escape his demons, he fell prey to drug abuse. Before his death at the age of fifty-four, he completed his 100-sonnet sequence, 'The House Of Life' and published a collection of new pieces.
Strongly drawn to supernatural themes, his poems grapple with the mysteries of human passion and the loss of religious certainty. Varied in form as well as theme, his verse ranges from romantic ballads of betrayal and revenge through intricately wrought love sonnets to boldly erotic odes.
Frequently anthologised, Rossetti's literary works have long been unavailable in their collected form. This new edition brings together everything published in his lifetime.
'Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Collected Writings' allows the reader to enter the world of Pre-Raphaelite poetry, to study the interaction between verbal and visual art, and to assess Rossetti's place in the canon of Victorian literature.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 01 / 2000
- 160 x 236mm