Blessed Beatrice be thy name

beata beatrix1Beata Beatrix  (Engl. trans. ‘Blessed Beatrice‘, 1870) is an oil on canvas painting by Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It depicts Beatrice Portinari from Dante Alighieri’s poem La Vita Nuova at the moment of her death. La Vita Nuova had been a story that Rossetti had found of interest from childhood and he had begun work translating it into English in 1845 and published it in his work, The Early Italian Poets.

  • Rossetti modeled Beatrix after his deceased wife and frequent model, Elizabeth Siddal, who died in 1862.
  • In a letter in 1873 to his friend William Morris, Rossetti said he intended Beata Beatrix “not as a representation of the incident of the death of Beatrice, but as an ideal of the subject, symbolized by a trance or sudden spiritual transfiguration.
  • The artwork is part of the Tate Britain collection, gifted in memory of Francis, Baron Mount-Temple by his wife, Georgiana in 1889.
  • Apart from this version, there are a small number of replicas of Beata Beatrix and all have subtle differences.

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