A Christmas Carol (1857-58) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Christmas Carol - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1857-58

Artwork Information

TitleA Christmas Carol
ArtistDante Gabriel Rossetti
MediumWatercolor And Gouache On Panel
Dimensions13 1/8 x 11 1/4 in
Current LocationFogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts

About A Christmas Carol

Created in 1857-58, “A Christmas Carol” is a genre painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the Romanticism style. It features a maiden dressed in resplendent Eastern attire while playing a stringed instrument and singing from Middle English sources. The theme of the painting depicts the joyous occasion of Christmas celebrations through music and song.

Rossetti, who was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, used watercolor and gouache on paper as a medium for this piece. Notably, he was famous for his female portraits, of which “A Christmas Carol” is an excellent example.

The legend on the frame is derived from a carol edited by Rossetti many years before. The subject is thought to have been inspired by an ornate oriental-style mandolin that was part of Rossetti’s collection of curios.

The painting is currently located at Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas), Lawrence, KS, US. Two noted composers wrote music for Rossetti’s “A Christmas Carol” poem after its creation.

Overall, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “A Christmas Carol” provides us with insight into the artist’s creative sensibilities during his Pre-Raphaelite period. Through intricate details like costume and musical iconography drawn from medieval literature and art history combined with Orientalist influences – it represents one of several cross-cultural exchanges that shaped nineteenth-century British visual culture.

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