Date of Award


Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Dr. Edward Cohen

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Harris


Through paired poems and paintings, Dante Gabriel Rossetti explored the nature of Love—both physical and spiritual—as made evident by distance or absence. Influenced early by his familiarity with Dante Alighieri and a confluence of changing social and artistic attitudes, Rossetti transformed the dialogue around him to a more personal internal conversation, revealed by pen and brush. This paper examines the dynamic of that pervasive thread in Rossetti’s work through a discussion of the influences upon the artist, the artist’s effect upon important figures of mid- to late nineteenth century England, and the important relationships that shaped his discourse. In addition, commentaries on a number of Rossetti’s paired works delineate the interplay between his written and painted “words” as they reveal the progression of his thoughts.