The title of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's La Ghirlandata is translated by the Pre-Raphaelite artist's brother, William Michael, as 'The Garlanded Lady', or 'The Lady of the Wreath'. Largely interpreted as an embodiment of love and beauty, Rossetti depicts a woman playing a harp as two angels surround her, enclosed by vivid flowers – including honeysuckle and roses – and luscious green foliage which melds into the green of her dress. The main model is Alexa Wilding, who worked with Rossetti frequently.
Painted in 1873, it belongs to the strongly aesthetic, sensual phase in Rossetti's later career. Between 1871–74 Rossetti produced several paintings of women playing musical instruments.
- Article by:
- Dinah Roe
- Fin de siècle
Dr Dinah Roe introduces the unique band of artists, poets and designers known as the Pre-Raphaelites, charting their formation and evolution from the 1850s to the late 19th century.