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Faust: Part 1. Last Scene

Artist:
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (British, London 1828–1882 Birchington-on-Sea)
Date:
1846–48
Medium:
Pen and brown ink and brown wash over graphite, on tan paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 10 7/8 × 8 9/16 in. (27.7 × 21.7 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of Etheleen and Allen Staley, 2013
Accession Number:
2013.1120
Not on view
Rossetti made this drawing just before he joined the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and it demonstrates his early fascination with Goethe’s Faust, a source that later inspired his Lady Lilith (MMA, 08.162.1). Belonging to a series of lively compositions devoted to Gretchen’s seduction and imprisonment, this sheet shows the heroine praying for strength as she resists Mephistopheles’ compromising offer of freedom—angels and demons represent the spiritual struggle underpinning the drama. The hatched pen work indicates Rossetti’s close study of German engravings.
Inscription: bottom left in brown ink: "Faust. Part 1. Last Scene"
Donor: Allen Staley
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design," May 20–October 26, 2014.

Surtees 36 (plate 22)
Randall Davies "Rossetti’s Earliest Drawings" Burlington Magazine. vol. 76, January 1940, pl. C, pp. 22-23, ill.

Virginia Surtees The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Catalogue Raisonné. Oxford University Press, 2 vols., Oxford, 1971, vol. I., no.36, vol. II, pl. 22, ill.

William Vaughan German Romanticism and English Art. 1979, pl. 80, p. 150, ill.



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