Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Letters Of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

I have already referred to letters from Frederic Shields to Dante Gabriel Rossetti in other posts here. Shields wrote to Rossetti informing him of my great (X2) grandfather Warwick Brooks' poor health, which had forced him to give up his everyday work, and to rely on his artistic talents to support his young family. I now have access to two letters sent by Rossetti directly to Brookes as a result. Brookes was selling photographic representations of his art at £4 a set, and Rossetti wanted to acquire them. According to Letherbrow's biography, many eminent artists of the time acquired these sets of photographs, as well as museums, such as the South Kensington, now known as the V&A.

16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London.
21st Feb 1868.

Dear Sir,

I lately saw a set of photographs from some admirable drawings from nature by you, and I understand from our friend Mr. Shields that a set can be obtained from you for £4. Will you therefor allow me to enclose that sum by P.O. order and to request that they be kindly sent to me at your convenience. I cannot doubt that, when seen they will quickly be appreciated in London by all whose judgement is of any value.

I cannot refrain, though a stranger, from saying how deeply I regret to hear of your present state of health, and how sincerely hope it may still change for the better; and with all best wishes, remain

yours sincerely,

D.G. Rossetti.

Another letter was sent to Brookes 7 days later:

16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London.

My Dear Sir,

Many thanks for the beautiful portfolio of photographs which I value highly & which are already meeting with equal appreciation from others. The babies in particular, seem to me triumphs, every one of them; not that they are better than many of the other figures, but because every artist knows to his cost how difficult it is to attain such success in representing babyhood.

I do not know if you allow anyone to purchase fewer photos: than a complete set; but if you do, my brother is anxious to have about half the number, & in such case would send you word of his favorites among the series. With kind remembrance to Shields if you should see him.

I am your very truly,


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