Dante Gabriel Rossetti is described as an English poet, illustrator, painter, and translator, and member of the Rossetti family. The last phrase “member of the Rossetti family” ignited my curiosity.
I knew that his father, Gabrielle Rossetti was a poet and scholar and that his siblings were notable for their creativity: Christina Rossetti (Poet), Maria Rossetti (Author), and William Rossetti (Writer and Critic, founding member along with his brother, Dante, of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood).
I discovered that the Rossetti family is spoken of as “The House of Rossetti.” The Rossettis are an Italian noble, and Boyar Princely family that appeared in the 14th-15th century, during the Republic of Genoa. The family continues to this very day.
I knew immediately when I turned the calendar page to Monday, November 8th, that Dante Rossetti was the artist that painted, Joan of Arc Kissing the Sword of Liberation (1863).
The vivid detail, the rich colours and imagery, and the intense emotions that are captured in facial expression create the mystical quality for which he is known.
What is most noticeable is the strong neck and pronounced chin. Who was the model for this painting? There are two possibilities: Mrs. Beyer from Germany, or an acquaintance of Rossetti’s named Agnes Manetti.
In 1996, the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCS) purchased Joan of Arc Kissing the Sword of Liberation, which marked the first Dante Rossetti painting acquired by a French museum. The painting is on permanent loan from the MAMCS to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Palais Rohan.