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Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Desdemona's Death Song (a fragment)

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Desdemona's Death Song (a fragment)

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Public domain reproduction of portrait print, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English painter and poet and one of the co-founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Rossetti was born in London, on 12 May 1828. His family and friends called him Gabriel, but later, he put the name Dante first in honor of Dante Alighieri. While studying painting in London, he was fascinated by the work of Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1847 he discovered the 18th-century English painter-poet, William Blake. By the time Rossetti was 20, he had already done a number of translations of Italian poets. Together with his friends, Rossetti formed and expanded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by linking poetry, painting, social idealism and a romanticized medieval past. Rossetti’s own paintings were elaborate in symbolism. Elizabeth Siddal who served at first as a model, married him. Around 1860, after ten years of writing poetry, Rossetti returned to oil painting. His marriage ended tragically in 1862 with her death from an overdose of laudanum. Rossetti became increasingly depressed, and buried the bulk of his unpublished poems with his wife at Highgate Cemetery, though he later had them dug up. Rosetti compared his love for his wife to Dante’s love for Beatrice. After the death of his wife, Rossetti moved from riverside London’s Blackfriars to Chelsea, where he lived for 20 years surrounded by extravagant furnishings, exotic birds, and animals. Rossetti grew affluent and enjoyed modest success in 1861 with his published translations of the Early Italian Poets. The publication of his own poems followed in 1870 but criticism of Rossetti's poetry contributed to a mental breakdown in June 1872, so he "spent his days in a haze of chloral and whisky". Toward the end of his life, he sank into a morbid state, darkened by drug addiction and mental instability. He had been suffering from alcohol psychosis. On Easter Sunday, 1882, he died at the country house of a friend, where he had gone in a vain attempt to recover his health. He is buried in the churchyard of All Saints at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, England. Rossetti remains an important figure in the history of 19th-century English art.

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2016
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