Dante Gabriel Rossetti Paintings
The Day Dream, 1880
Oil on canvas, 62.01 x 36.5 inches [157.5 x 92.7 cm]
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rossetti first Pre-Raphaelite paintings in oils, based on religious themes and with elements of mystical symbolism, were The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and Ecce Ancilla Domini (1850), both in the Tate Gallery, London. Although Rossetti won support from John Ruskin, criticism of his paintings caused him to withdraw from public exhibitions and turn to watercolors, which could be sold privately. Subjects taken from Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova (which Rossetti had translated into English) and Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur inspired his art in the 1850s. Rossetti 's visions of Arthurian romance and medieval design also inspired his new friends of this time, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.