Paolo and Francesca da Rimini Dante Gabriel Rossetti Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Dante Rossetti tells the tragic story of Paolo and Francesca in this drawing. The painting was developed throughout the 1840s, but it was later completed in 1855.

Unlike many of his other designs, this drawing came with three distinct compartments two show the illicit love of Paolo and Francesca while the middle compartment shows two male figures stunned by the third compartment of which is the two lovers fate. Dante Rossetti tells the story more symbolically. The story of Paolo and Francesca became very prominent, and it soon became the main focus of other contemporary artists.

To deliver the stunning art, Dante Rossetti uses watercolour on paper. These are the materials he used to develop many of his paintings, including those that were inspired by the Book XXI of Malory's Morte d'Arthur. He had an in-depth understanding of how to use these materials to come up with an excellent piece of art. This is among the many reasons that made him a great artist during his time. This painting perfectly tells the story of Paolo and Francesca from the first compartment to the last. The first compartment shows the two lovers embracing gently.

A big book sits on their laps as they continue enjoying each other's company. Their love was forbidden since Francesca was the sister-in-law to Paolo who was married at the time. That, however, did not stop them from falling for each other. The middle compartment shows a drawing of Dante and Virgil with a surprised look as they watch the two lovers still enjoying each others company in the third compartment. Dante puts a break to the story of the two adulterous lovers while still maintaining the connection creatively. He does this by ensuring his image and Virgil face the two lovers, and their expression shows how surprised they are.

In the third compartment, Dante draws what became the fate of the two lovers. Paolo and Francesca were killed by Paolo's brother and Francesca's brother in a bid to end their forbidden relationship. The two lovers were later banished to Hell's second circle. In the third compartment, Dante Rossetti includes fire which resembles the wind. The two lovers still embrace one another while floating gently despite their tragic death. The drawing is meant to exhibit the love journey of Paolo and Francesca in a short but detailed manner. The drawing is currently located in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.