The Loving Cup is one of the representative works of Rossetti's maturity. Both a poet and a painter, he drew his subject matter from the Bible, Greek mythology, Dante and Shakespeare in his creation of works filled with Romantic poetic sensibility that feature images of the "femme fatale."
Rossetti, known also for his lively relationships with women, used his women friends and lovers as models to represent his own image in relationship to the heroines of stories. The model is Alexa Wilding, who frequently appeared in Rossetti's works from the spring of 1865 onwards. Possibly based on a recognition that Alexa's character was not in accord with this subject, Rossetti used a different model in his creation of three replicas of this work in watercolour in the same year.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-788: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)