"Today's Dream" by Rossetti... The drawing depicts poetry |  Gulf newspaper

“Today’s Dream” by Rossetti… The drawing depicts poetry | Gulf newspaper

Sharjah: Othman Hassan
Dante Rossetti, (1828-1882) is one of the great English painters of the nineteenth century. He was a poet and translator. His name was associated with intellectuals and writers of the Renaissance. Before that, he was a fan of the biography of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), especially his work “Vita Nova or “The New Life” is the biography that Alighieri included poems for his lover Beatrish.. It is the same biography that the artist Rossetti followed, and his drawings in the last years of his life were associated with the model of his lover “Jane Morris”, which in turn included poems with a splash. Clear emotionality. However, what is important in Rossetti’s life is his founding of the “Post-Raphaelian” association or movement, which was a revolution against the artistic traditions of the Royal Academy.

In 1845 he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, during which time he educated himself in reading romantic and poetic literature: he read Shakespeare, Goethe, Lord Byron, and Sir Walter Scott, and was fascinated by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe.

In 1847 he discovered the English poet and painter William Blake, and admired his artistic texts and drawings. At the age of 20 Rossetti had already made several translations of Italian poets, especially “Dante Alighieri”.

Rossetti rose to prominence in the technique of using watercolor, after abandoning oil colours, as he turned from traditional subjects to scenes in which he drew on the dramatic charge of important creative works of Shakespeare, Robert Browning and Dante, allowing him more freedom of imagination.

At a later period he became interested in the works of the book: Sir Thomas Mallory, the works of Lord Tennyson for King Arthur, and he produced brilliant paintings in their colors and accessories in the Middle Ages.

New life

The period between (1871-1879) witnessed… Rossetti’s presentation of very beautiful and emotional portraits, a period during which he adopted an artistic style that mixes artistic sensitivity on the one hand, and dramatic literary themes, and here, he returned again to the technique of using oil, where he witnessed That period was a great artistic glow, as he painted his famous painting “Dream of the Day”, which is another evidence of the glow of this period of the artist’s life.


Rossetti painted “Dreams of the Day” in 1865, and it reflects, at first glance, a feeling of innocence. The branches of the tree as if they would like to embrace the inspiring woman.

Jane appears in the painting, holding in her hand a small stem of honeysuckle, a metaphor for love in the Victorian era. In the painting he couldn’t help but realize that she was daydreaming, turning her eyes toward something she hadn’t seen or imagined.

This painting, which appears in completed dimensions, is one of Rossetti’s paintings in the latter stages of his career, and he made several revisions to the painting to ensure his accurate predictions that appeared in the painting.

The sweet-smelling climbing plant that appears in the painting symbolizes the bonds of love among the Victorians, and Rossetti may have included it here, as an accurate reference to the relationship between the artist and his model.

La Vita Nova

Rossetti would have liked to call the painting “Mona Primavera” or “Vana Primavera”, and the name was inspired by “Lavita Nova”, which means “new life”, a text written by Dante Alighieri “published in 1294, depicting feelings of love in the Middle Ages, this text Rossetti charmed him with his style of blending prose and poetry, in short and intense terms.

After scrutiny of the painting, some thought the portrait possessed strange sensual features, opinions likely based on the nature of the model’s subject. Famous for wearing clothes unlike most women of the late 19th century” which means she was a unique personality at least to Dante Rossetti, who painted her in vibrant green colors, with elegant, subtle brushstrokes, especially for the leaves of the tree, as he brilliantly lit up her flowers. At the same time, highlighting the “freshness” and “fragility” of late spring, and his model’s dress was lit in bright blue colors.

As was the custom of Rossetti, who accompanied each painting with a poem, “Today’s Dream” was no exception to the rule. The painting was accompanied by a beautiful sonnet shaped by the beauty of a woman and the fresh branches of the sycamore tree, but he showed his inspiration more beautiful, charming and sweet.


Jane Morris (1839 – 1914) was an English embroiderer in the Arts and Crafts movement and a model artist who embodied pre-Raphaelite beauty, model and inspiration for her husband William Morris (an artist, designer, poet, craftsman and political writer who had a major influence on culture and the arts in the British Victorian era). She was also an inspiration to Dante Rossetti, and became a model for his many works.


An association of British painters and poets formed in 1848 in protest of the low standard of 18th century English art, with the aim of reshaping art by rejecting works whose artists had altered the standard elements of painting from followers of Raphael and Michelangelo. Their works were characterized by love, longing, bright colors, and stark, and the drawings of this association or movement touched on narrative and mythical themes. Its most prominent representatives are Gabriel Rossetti, John Millet and Holman Hint.

Pre-Raphaelites dealt with the values ​​of pictorial subjects and extracted them from the history of literature, especially myths. They also dealt faithfully with nature and expressed its visual details, especially for its flowers, gardens, and trees, using pure, pure colors, focusing on the transparency of technology.

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