Tuesday, April 24, 2012
One face looks out from all his canvases,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,
A saint, an angel — every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more or less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.
“In an Artist’s Studio” by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Image: Detail of the interior of Gabriel Dante Rossetti’s studio at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Drawing by H. Treffry Dunn (1882?) taken from H. C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: An Illustrated Memorial of His Art and Life (1899)