… Letters written by the artist suggest his hand symptoms appeared late in life.
According to a letter written to his nephew in 1552, they caused him great discomfort.
Nevertheless he continued to create one masterpiece after another and was seen hammering only a few days before his death in 1564, three weeks before his 89th birthday.
By then, he was unable to write, and could only sign his letters. …
Rossetti did not have the natural technical talent that is seen in the small detail and brilliant color of a typical Pre-Raphaelite painting, and his early oil paintings, the Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and the Ecce Ancilla Domini (1850), were produced only at the expense of great technical effort. In the less demanding technique of watercolor, however, Rossetti clearly revealed his imaginative power. The series of small watercolors of the 1850s produced such masterpieces as Dante’s Dream (1856) and the Wedding of St. George and the Princess Sabra (1857). In almost all of Rossetti’s paintings of the 1850s he used Elizabeth Siddal as his model. Discovered in a hat shop in 1850, she was adopted by the Brotherhood as their ideal of feminine beauty. In 1852 she…