Venus surrounded by mirrors reflecting her in different views

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1863
Sources of the Work:
Pictorial Object: Venus surrounded by mirrors reflecting her in different views
Artist: DGR


◦ Fredeman, A Rossetti Cabinet, 4 (plate 23 note).

◦ McGann, The Game that Must be Lost, chapter 6.

Scholarly Commentary


This important drawing underscores DGR's general approach to his obsessive involvement with the female portrait. The dating is approximate—the sketch might be as late as 1866.

Although the composition that DGR sketched for this painting is different from Titian's 1555 Venus with a Mirror, it is obvious that he had in mind a reprise on the Titian masterpiece. The latter represents two different views rendered through the pair of mirrors held by the Cupids. The conception of an indefinite number of views is characteristic of DGR's general imaginative approach. The sketch depicts a woman lifting her hair as she stands before a toilet mirror. How DGR would have represented the conception of multiple views is not apparent from the drawing.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: f23.raw.xml