The Blessed Damozel (1875-78) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The Blessed Damozel - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1875 - 1878

Artwork Information

TitleThe Blessed Damozel
ArtistDante Gabriel Rossetti
Date1875 - 1878
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions84 x 174 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationFogg Museum (Harvard Art Museums), Cambridge, MA, US

About The Blessed Damozel

“The Blessed Damozel” is an artwork by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, completed over the period of 1875 to 1878. This genre painting, executed in oil on canvas, measures 84 x 174 cm and exemplifies the Romanticism art movement. The artwork is currently housed within the collection of the Fogg Museum, which is part of the Harvard Art Museums located in Cambridge, MA, US.

In the artwork, the predominant figure is a damozel—archaic for damsel or young lady—who stands gazing downward with a melancholic expression. She is adorned with stars in her flowing hair and is positioned against a blooming, floral background that enhances her ethereal appearance. Above and around her, several angels are depicted in various poses, some attentively observing her, while others engage in slumber or contemplation.

Below the damozel, three female figures holding palm fronds can be seen situated alongside a ledge-like structure. Their gazes are directed outward, as if they are witnesses to the scene or possibly guardians of a divine threshold. The palette throughout this section is warm with reds and golds, contributing to an otherworldly atmosphere.

In stark contrast, the lower section of the artwork portrays a lone male figure reclining in what appears to be a terrestrial landscape. His body language suggests a restless yearning or possibly a sorrowful longing, connecting to the damozel above. This juxtaposition highlights themes of separation between the celestial and the earthly realm, a common motif in Rossetti’s work and emblematic of the broader Romantic pursuit of exploring the metaphysical through art.

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