Sir Launcelot in the Queen's Chamber

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1857


◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial, 92.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 54 (no. 95).

◦ Wildman, Visions of Love and Life, 162-163.

Scholarly Commentary


“There is no clear evidence that this design was executed for a wall-bay (it is not clear where the window circles would have been introduced), but the possibility should not be dismissed of its having been designed after Ruskin offered to cancel a debt of 70 guineas, providing the artist decorated another panel. ‘...Or if you like to do another side of the Union I will consider that as 70 guineas off my debt: provided there's no absolute nonsense in it, and the trees are like trees, and the stones like stones’” (Surtees, vol. 1, 54, quoting Cook and Wedderburn, Works of John Ruskin, 273)

Production History

This magnificent drawing may have been completed at the time of the Oxford murals project in the summer of 1857, perhaps intended for a subject for one of the murals DGR planned. (He completed only the painting of Sir Launcelot's Vision of the Sanc Grael). DGR did not sell the drawing until February 1859, when it was bought by T. E. Plint (see Fredeman, Correspondence, 59. 7 ).


The original frame, now lost, was inscribed with the following text from Malory's Morte d'Arthur (Book XX): “How Sir Laucelot was espied in the Queen's Chamber, and how Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred came with twelve knights to slay him.”

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s95.raw.xml