- Museum number
My lady Greensleeves; girl winding a green sleeve round knight's helmet. 1859
Watercolour and bodycolour, image extended on left by mounting drawing on another sheet
Verso: Sketch of a female head turned to right
- Production date
Height: 302 millimetres
Height: 311 millimetres
Width: 174 millimetres (drawing)
Width: 185 millimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
- Exh.: B.F.A.C., 1883, No. 22, lent by Rev. E Hale; Whitechapel, 1948, No. 72. Cf. Barbizon House record, 1934, Pl. V (and text) and 'Autobiographical Notes' of William Bell Scott, Vol. II, p. 137.
W.M. Rossetti lists the drawing under the year 1859. In the late 1860s Rossetti's and Swinburne's poetry was the target of moralising disapproval, culminating in October 1871 in Thomas Buchanan's notorious attack on 'The Fleshly School of Poetry'. Rossetti's sensitivity to this adverse critical climate no doubt prompted the action earlier in the same year which he described in a letter to William Bell Scott ('Letters', p. 964). Infuriated by an absurdly ill-informed criticism of this particular drawing in 'Notes and Queries', "I sent to Agnews for the thing [and] gave it a good daubing all over, and transmogrified it so completely (title and all) as to separate it for ever, I hope, from this Bedlam correspondence".
Rossetti's "good daubing" seems to have been limited to the background, on which he must subsequently have re-inscribed the title. His friend and former studio-assistant Charles Fairfax Murray saw the drawing in Cambridge in about 1905, and is quoted by A.C.Benson ('Memories and Friends', 1924, p. 218) as saying "Rossetti spoilt that picture. It used to have a beautiful background of landscape, and a distant hill-town; but Rossetti, who was sore about some criticisms of his perspective, got it back from the possessor, and painted it all out". In fact, the comments which upset Rossetti did not mention the background, or criticise the perspective.
W.M.Rossetti implies that George Rae had bought the drawing in 1863, and in 1889 names him as the owner; but by 1883 it was in the possession of Mr Hale, who lent it to an exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club; and since there is no suggestion in Rossetti's letter that he asked the owner's permission to retouch the drawing, it seems likely that Rae sold it back to him before 1871, and that Rossetti himself had consigned it to Agnews for sale.
Two pencil studies for the figure, one with some watercolour, are in Birmingham (S 113A and B). In another treatment of the subject in oil, dated May 1863 (S 161; Fogg Museum, Harvard), the figure is shown half-length and full-face.
See also J. Treuherz: 'Aesthetes in business: the Raes and D.G. Rossetti', 'The Burlington Magazine', 146 (2004), pp.13-19.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1883 London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, no.22
1948 London, Whitechapel, no.72
1994-5 Sept-Jan, BM, Pre-Raphaelite Drawings, no.19
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Barbizon House, June 1934, bt by French for £35
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number