Dante Gabriel Rossetti (British, 18281882)
Red, black, and white chalk on paper; Sheet: 35 3/4 x 30 3/4 in. (90.8 x 78.1 cm)
Gift of Jessie Lemont Trausil, 1947 (47.66)
This drawing is a study for the painting Mariana of 1870, now in the Aberdeen City Art Gallery and Museum (no. 21/8). The subject illustrates Act IV, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Mariana sits listening to the words of a song, "Take, O take, those lips away..." The Metropolitan Museum's study differs slightly from the finished painting: there is a vase of flowers in the place of the singing boy, and Mariana holds a sycamore branch instead of the embroidery in the painting. Rossetti produced many likenesses of Jane Burden, his model and muse, from their meeting in 1857, and particularly after her marriage to his friend William Morris in 1860.