Artist and poet. Born Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti in London, he was the son of Italian expatriate scholar Gabriele Rossetti, and the brother of poet Christina Rossetti. He showed literary talent early, earning acclaim for his poem "The Blessed Damozel" before he was 20. He was accepted into the Royal Academy in 1846, but grew dissatisfied after a year and left to study under Ford Madox Brown. In 1848 he and friends Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Rossetti married Elizabeth Siddal, a little-known but talented painter who also modeled for him, in 1860. The couple's only child was stillborn, and Elizabeth died shortly afterward of an overdose of laudanum. In a fit of grief, Rossetti threw the poems he'd been working on into her casket. He caused a sensation when, a year later, he had her body exhumed to retrieve them. They were restored and published, and the book, "Poems", was a great success. Not long after these bizarre events, Rossetti's mental health took a downward turn. He habitually used ether as a cure for insomnia, and by 1872 suffered a complete mental breakdown, with hallucinations and voices. He recovered, but his health continued to decline, and he died at Birchington-On-Sea at the age of 53. Some of his best-known artworks are "Beata Beatrix," "The Day Dream," "Proserpine," and "Loving Cup."
Bio by: Kristen Conrad
Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal