Skip Navigation


Dante Gabriel Rossetti

European Art

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his fellow British artists of the avant-garde Aesthetic Movement increasingly questioned the ideal of “finish” and publicly exhibited sketches and studies like this one. Rossetti made countless drawings and paintings of his lover, the textile artist and model Jane Burden Morris. This work likely began as a study for the 1868 painting La Pia de’Tolomei, but Rossetti made it into an independent work of art, representing silence with the iconography of the veil and the peach branch, which he described as “the symbol used by the ancients; its fruit being held to resemble the human heart and its leaf the human tongue.” The passages of blank, unmarked paper likewise suggest the idea of silence.
MEDIUM Dry pigment (pastel or chalk) on two sheets of joined wove paper
  • Place Made: England
  • DATES 1870
    DIMENSIONS 41 7/8 x 30 3/8 in. (106.4 x 77.2 cm) frame: 47 7/8 × 36 3/4 × 4 3/4 in. (121.6 × 93.3 × 12.1 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed, "DGR" monogram/"1870" lower right of composition in pencil
    INSCRIPTIONS Upper left in dry pigment: "SILENCE"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Luke Vincent Lockwood
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Dante Gabriel Rossetti (British, 1828–1882). Silence, 1870. Dry pigment (pastel or chalk) on two sheets of joined wove paper, 41 7/8 x 30 3/8 in. (106.4 x 77.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Luke Vincent Lockwood, 46.188 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.188_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 46.188_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.