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Rossetti’s muse was a better painter than him: The Rossettis, at Tate Britain, reviewed

22 April 2023

9:00 AM

22 April 2023

9:00 AM

The Rossettis

Tate Britain, until 24 September

‘A queer fellow’ is how John Everett Millais described Dante Gabriel Rossetti after his death, ‘so dogmatic and so irritable when opposed.’ What’s queer in England is quite normal in Italy, where heated arguments are described as ‘discussioni’, but history has tended to forget that Rossetti was Italian. His fellow Pre-Raphaelites, however, were very conscious of his foreignness, though Holman Hunt found the ‘maccaroni’ served at the Rossetti family table – where you were as likely to meet Giuseppe Mazzini as Niccolo Paganini – ‘delicious’.

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