Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He was born in London to parents of Italian descent, the scholar Gabriel Rossetti and Frances Polidori. Originally named as Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, he changed the order of his name to stress his kinship with the great Italian poet, Dante Alighieri. He was the brother of the poet Christina Rossetti, the critic William Michael Rossetti and the author Maria Francesca Rossetti.
He aspired to be a poet and attended King’s College School. However, he also wished to be a painter, having shown a great interest in Medieval Italian art. He studied at Henry Sass’s Drawing Academy from 1841 to 1845 and later enrolled at the Antique School of the Royal Academy, however, he studied there briefly. After leaving the Royal Academy, Rossetti studied under Ford Madox Brown.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets and critics, founded in September 1848 by Rossetti along with John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt. They were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner. The Brotherhood goal was to return to simplicity, to a direct presentation of nature and to faithfulness and accuracy in detail. The name was derived from the Italian Renaissance painter, Raphael, who was a symbol for them of a departure from the simplicity of presentation and the use of bright colours, which produced a direct emotional effect in pre-Renaissance paintings. The ideas of this group were applied to poetry as well as to painting: simplicity of syntax and imagery with themes that concentrated on creating emotional effect.
“The Blessed Damozel” was first published in the periodical called The Germ and became one of Rossetti’s most well known poems. It is about a story of how two lovers are separated by the death of the Damozel and how...