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Dante Gabriel Rossetti letter to Ellen Heaton, 1856 March 12

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 56.12
Call Number: MSS 47

Scope and Contents

Rossetti tells Heaton that he is happy to make any changes she wishes to her commissioned drawing (Rachel and Leah) and instructs her on how to send it back to him. Rossetti admits he received Heaton's papers from Leeds but that he hadn't wanted to reply until he had some further information regarding her commission. Rossetti explains that he is more than half way towards completing a work depicting Dante's dream of Beatrice lying dead. He mentions that Ruskin has seen the partially completed piece and "seemed much pleased with it." Rossetti quotes the lines from Dante's Vita Nuova which inspire the piece and describes the work in detail, stating that "it is in every respect a much better drawing than [Rachel and Leah].". Rossetti admits that because the Rachel and Leah piece was commissioned, the subject "never interested" him. He tells Heaton that, as the work is now larger than first intended, the price will be 50 guineas but that he understands if Heaton cannot now purchase the work, the price being 10 guineas higher than previously agreed. Rossetti goes on to justify the price by saying that it is the usual asking price for his works and that Ruskin commissioned a much smaller piece from him for the same sum. Rossetti asks, if Heaton still wishes to commission the piece, to send him £20 "on account of it" or, if she no longer wants the work, to let him know as soon as is possible.


  • 1856 March 12


Physical Description

2 folded sheets (4, and 3 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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