La Salle University Art Museum
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Sketch of Draped Arm and Drapery

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sketch of Draped Arm, 19th Century

Graphite on Paper


Gift of Dr. Paul Betz

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a 19th century English painter, best known as one of the three founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Rossetti had a strong interest in both drawing and literature, leading him to illustration early in his career. When he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt in 1848, Rossetti found an artistic outlet with artists who shared his views on the nature of art. The Pre-Raphaelites derived their name from a desire to bring back the simplicity and realism of early Italian art, before the time of Raphael. Their goal was to purify art once again by focusing on nature and detail, ignoring current academic painting styles. Like the other Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti’s subject matter is often derived from biblical imagery, medieval legend, and English poetry.

 Current Condition of the Artwork:

The dark brown wove paper is extremely deteriorated, fragile and brittle with extensive breaks and splits throughout. The tears and detached breaks in the primary paper extend across the image and are improperly aligned. The splits in the paper correspond to folds, distortions and breaks in the deteriorated and brittle mount. There are losses to the paper along splits and tears. There are previous, poorly applied Japanese paper mends on the back of the mount. The front of the mount is inpainted where there are losses to primary paper.

 Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Remove from mount and discard mount.

  • Align tears and detached fragments as carefully as possible and mend with either Japanese paper and wheat starch paste or conservation-quality heat-set tissue.

  • Fill losses with a western wove paper that is similar in weight, tone, and texture.

  • Humidify and flatten. This treatment is made difficult by the brittle fragility and sensitive media.

  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

 Estimated Cost of Treatment:   $3,000.00