Lady Lilith (1866–1868) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Lady Lilith - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1866 - 1873

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Artwork Information

TitleLady Lilith
ArtistDante Gabriel Rossetti
Date1866 - 1873
Mediumgouache,Watercolor on Paper andOil on Canvas
Dimensions81.3 x 95.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationDelaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE, US
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About Lady Lilith

Lady Lilith is a notable painting by the esteemed English artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The work depicts Adam’s first wife, who is seen as a symbol of power, seduction, and temptation. Rossetti used his mistress Fanny Cornforth initially for the face of Lilith but later changed to that of Alexa Wilding in 1872-3.

In this painting, Lady Lilith is shown sitting at a dressing table while brushing her hair and staring pensively into the small mirror before her. She dominates the picture with her striking features and intense gaze. The flowers adorning the work have various meanings, exhibiting different types of love. Notably, Rossetti’s portrait reflects an alternative portrayal of women that challenges nineteenth-century English womanhood’s ideal nature: submissive and well-behaved.

Additionally, this painting has several dream-like qualities that provide further intrigue to its viewers. For instance, there are engulfing flowers within the scene, which imbue it with fantastical elements. Moreover, there is an intriguing reflection outside in the mirror that appears impossible due to its angle.

Overall Lady Lilith serves as both an artwork description and analysis piece worthy of recognition in today’s art world.

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