DOI link for Patrons’ Desire
Patrons’ Desire book
Dante Gabriel Rossetti stopped exhibiting after the 1850s and relied on commissions for paintings and their replicas from then on. This chapter discusses Rossetti’s modes of autograph replica production, his rhetorical promotion of his replicas, his patrons’ desire for them, his attitudes toward replication and his relationships with selected patrons who eagerly commissioned replicas: London solicitor Leonard Valpy, Liverpool shipping magnate Frederick Leyland, Glasgow and Liverpool cotton and wine merchant William Graham, and Birkenhead banker George Rae and his wife Julia. Rossetti’s replication production was part of his larger practice of continuously revising his works, whether singular or replicated paintings. Rossetti’s patrons had different motives and perspectives on his art—Graham’s religious projection, Leyland’s specification of size and subject, the Raes’ aestheticist pleasures, Valpy’s prudishness and volatility. American collectors believed European art would raise public taste and inspire future artists, and with these motives they were eager to own works by celebrity artists like Rossetti.