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Dante Gabriel Rossetti letter to William Houghton Clabburn, 1863 June 12

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 1
Call Number: MSS 31

Scope and Contents

"My Dear Mr. Clabburn,

I think I ought hardly to preclude myself from making, if I wish, a small copy of the Magdalene picture after the large one is finished. The commission for the large picture was taken some years ago, and at a price greatly below what I should now ask, and I ought therefore to reserve as far as possible the power of making further earnings in connection with it. Nevertheless it is very possible, that I might never have the patience to do the thing [?] a 3rd time, after yours and the large one; & in any case, as I before said, yours would differ very greatly from the other, and I would moreover undertake to make the other smaller than yours if made at all.

Indeed, to secure you against disappointment with the picture, I would even further promise, hereby, that if, on a third picture being painted, you thought it likely to prejudice the value of yours, or found it lessened your interest in yours, that I would take yours back and give you in exchange any other [illegible] picture of the same value, whenever I might be doing one to your liking. This would be no inconvenience to me, as my picture from the Magdalene design would always, I am sure, be easier for me to dispose of to advantage than almost any one I could do.

Let me again remind you that yours would be considerably varying from the other small copy; and I have little doubt would be in some respects superior as one is always told in all such cases that the one done first has an advantage as to vividness in conveying the original idea. And if a third were ever made, it would certainly not be for several years to come, as I am sure the large picture will not be completed in one year nor yet in two from this time.

I hear Sandys called here yesterday, while I was gone to Hampton Races with Val Prinsep. I suppose it must have been a farewell visit (as indeed I thought he was gone at the beginning of the week) and that therefore he may be with you again as soon as this letter. Will you tell him I was very sorry to miss him.

I hope Mrs. Clabburn is now somewhat better than when I heard so poor an account of her health from you. I hope, whenever I soon [?] have the pleasure of seeing her again at Norwich, it will be under more favourable circumstances. Pray remember me kindly to her and Believe me

My dear Mr. Clabburn,

Yours very truly

DG Rossetti"


  • 1863 June 12


Physical Description

2 folded sheets (7 pages) : autograph letter signed ; 18 x 23 cm, folded to 18 x 12 cm

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection: The materials are open for research.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


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