The Blue Bower

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Physical Description

Medium: oil
Dimensions: 35 1/2 x 27 1/4 in.
Signature: monogram
Date on Image: 1865
Note: The monogram and date are inscribed at lower right.

Production Description

Production Date: 1865
Exhibition History: R.A. 1883 (no.303); Manchester Royal Jubilee Exhibition 1887 (no.707); Wembley British Empire Exhibition 1924 (w.23); Newcastle 1971 (n.60); Tate 1984 (n.132)
Original Cost: £120
Model: Fanny Cornforth


Current Location: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham
Archival History: Gambart, £120; Agnew, £500; (?Samuel) Mendl. J. Dyson Perrins; Sotheby's sale April 22, 1959 (lot 109), £1900; The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

Scholarly Commentary


The picture is an aesthetic work, as emphasized by the background tiles (inspired by the blue and white china DGR loved and collected). Also notable is the fantasy recreation of a Japanese koto as the musical instrument. The painting is an excellent example of DGR's determination to make an artistic marriage of western Venetian ideas and motifs with eastern decorative art work, including Japanese ukiyo-e colored prints.


The Blue Bower
Copyright: ©Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham


  1. image

    Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné , vol. 2, plate 259.
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
File Name: s178.rap.xml