Writer and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born May 12, 1828 in London. Disenchanted with the formula-driven painting being produced by the Royal Academy, Rossetti founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. The Brotherhood embraced l’art pour l’art—art for art’s sake—and aimed to reform the art of their day by emulating the art of late medieval and early Renaissance Europe until the time of Raphael.
This gouache of Lady Lilith comes to us from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and carries an inscription in the back that reads “”Beware of her hair, for she excells (sic) / All women in the magic of her locks / And when she twines them round a young man’s neck / she will not ever set him free again” from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s never-completed translation of Goethe’s Faust. Search for Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the Artstor Digital Library to find dozens of more works by the highly-influential artist.