Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator, and was the brother of poet Christina Rossetti and critic William Michael Rossetti. For many years, Rossetti worked on English translations of Italian poetry, he later created a method of painting in watercolours, using thick pigments mixed with gum to give rich effects similar to medieval illuminations. He also developed a novel drawing technique in pen-and-ink.
He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism, and in 1850, he met Elizabeth Siddal, an important model for the Pre-Raphaelite painters. Over the next decade she became his muse, his pupil, and his passion, they married in 1860. Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models, including Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris.
The Lady of Pity illustrates a passage from the Dante's Vita Nuova in which a woman, otherwise known as the 'Lady of the Window', looks down from her window upon the grief-stricken Dante mourning the death of Beatrice. Here the lady is seen seated at an open window, leaning her arms upon the sill, and looking downwards - the head is a likeness of Jane Morris. Painted in 1881, this is an unfinished version of an earlier painting of 1879, Rossetti also did a pastel version in 1870.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-285: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)