La Bella Mano




La Bella Mano, 1875
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828-1882
Oil on canvas, 62 x 46 inches
Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935

Rossetti completed the sonnet entitled “La Bella Mano” a year after the painting, suggesting the visual representation may have been the inspiration for the poem. The painting represents a personification of love—Venus assisted by her winged attendants. The canvas is rich in details all contributing to the theme of love—both spiritual and earthly—as represented in the central figure. The effect of a halo is created by the convex mirror showing the bed, which entices a present or future lover.