“Lady Lilith” Dante Gabriel Rossetti Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828 - 1882 English poet, painter, translator Preferred mythological subjects Born Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti Obsessed with wombats Model: Jane Burden mistress of Rossetti, but married to William Morris
1828 - 1882
“Lilith” in the Old Testament refers to a screech owl or a demon.
The idea of Lilith as the first wife of Adam arose in the Middle Ages
Support in Biblical Text: Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" – before the description of Eve’s creation in Gen. 2:22
Story of Lilith became widely known in 17th century with the publication of the Lexicon Talmudicon
Sonnet LXXVIII, from The House of Life
OF Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told (The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,) That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,And her enchanted hair was the first gold.And still she sits, young while the earth is old, And, subtly of herself contemplative, Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,Till heart and body and life are in its hold.The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scentAnd soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare? Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent,And round his heart one strangling golden hair.
Study for oil painting
Lilith, 1867Colored chalk on paper.28 x 24” (71.1 x 61cm).
Lady Lilith, 1867Watercolor and gouache on paper;
20 3/16 X 17 5/16 in. (51.3 x 44 cm)Rogers Fund, 1908 (08.162.1)
Lady Lilith, 1868-1873
Oil on canvas
38 x 33 1/2 inches.
Delaware Art Museum,
The Collected Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Ed. By William M. Rossetti. Ellis and Scrutton: London, 1886.
“The Beauty as Power in Rossetti’s Lady Lilith.” http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/dgr/paintings/may4.html
“The Paradox of Lady Lilith.”
Wikipedia contributors, "Jane Burden," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jane_Burden&oldid=40278234 (accessed February 28, 2006).