DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI
Sketch for Venus Verticordia
35 by 28cm., 13½by 11in.
The sheet has been laid down on card. It appears sound and in good overall condition. There is time-staining across the sheet confined to an old mounting window. There are a few minor, white spots of possible repairs to foxing marks below edge of figure's lips; to centre upper edge and near centre left edge.
Held in a simple wood frame with a cream mount.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
J.A. Crabtree Esq., from whom bought by Colnaghi's, London in January 1955;
Sold by Colnaghi's to L.S. Lowry, R.A., February 1955;
Christie's, 18 December 1984, lot 52;
Christie's, 5 June 2006, lot 106;
Sotheby's, London, 13 July 2010, lot 8, where purchased by Stan Battat
V. Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1971, p.206, no.580
Manchester City Art Gallery, A Pre-Raphaelitie Passion: The Private Collection of L.S. Lowry, 1977, no.15
This drawing relates to Rossetti's painting Venus Verticordia (oil version at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth and a watercolour version sold in these rooms 10 December 2014, lot 8) begun in 1863 and completed in 1868. In this study the hand of Venus is cupped to hold the golden apple awarded to Venus by Paris and she is dressed in a low-cut bodice, little more than an underslip. William Michael Rossetti recalled that his brother had been 'on the look out for some person to serve as a model for the head and shoulders of his Venus, noticed in the street a handsome and striking woman, not very much less than perhaps than six feet high... He spoke to this person, who turned out to be a cook serving in some family in Portland Place, and from her he at first painted his large "Venus Verticordia".' This drawing probably depicts the cook, described by William Allingham as 'a very large young woman, almost a giantess.' She appears in another drawing relating to the painting in the Witt Collection at the Courtauld Institute, although it has been suggested that the present drawing predates it, perhaps earlier than any other sketch for the picture. It was owned by the painter L.S. Lowry.