This religious painting of the Virgin Mary as a girl by Pre- Raphelite Rossetti. The dove represents the Holy Spirit, the lilies Mary's virginity and purity. The Angelic image promotes belief and faith.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Girlhood of Virgin Mary
83.2 x 65.4 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 83.2 x 65.4 cm ® Tate, London
English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti left the RA Schools in 1848 and in the same year founded the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood along with Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. In 1850 he painted his first subject from the works of Dante, who remained a lifelong inspiration. From 1854 he prospered under the patronage of John Ruskin. After the suicide of his wife and pupil Elizabeth Siddal, he lived in great style, with a menagerie of animals. From 1868 to the mid-1870s he conducted an affair with Jane, the wife of William Morris. She remained his principal muse until his death and he immortalized her in such works as Proserpine.