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The sitter for this painting was Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris, who often posed for Rossetti. At the time this was painted Rossetti was involved in an illicit love affair with Jane. He shows her sitting in the branches of a sycamore tree and holding a sprig of honeysuckle. This sweet-smelling climbing plant symbolised the bonds of love for the Victorians, and Rossetti may have included it here as a subtle reference to the relationship between artist and model. Rossetti was also a poet, and the title relates to his poem of the same name which ends:
She dreams; till now on her forgotten book
Drops the forgotten blossom from her hand.

Details

  • Title: The Day Dream
  • Creator: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Location Created: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 158.7 cm estimate, Width: 92.7 cm estimate, Height: 195.3 cm frame, Width: 128.8 cm frame
  • Provenance: Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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