Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. Born in London on 12 May 1828 he died on 9 April 1882 at Birchington-on-Sea. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.
Rossetti’s art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats. He frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures while also creating art to illustrate poems.
‘A Sea-Spell’ (pictured above) is an 1877 oil painting, with accompanying 1869 sonnet, depicting a siren playing an instrument to lure sailors. It is currently on display in the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts.