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Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born in London on 12 May 1828 and he died on Easter Day, 9 April 1882. He spent nearly his entire working life in the city of his birth, and indeed he only left Great Britain three times, in each case but the first quite briefly. Though his work is steeped in Italian traditions (both poetical and pictorial), DGR never visited Italy.

He is first and always an English -- more, a London -- writer and artist. DGR's interests in writing and painting appeared early, encouraged by his immediate family life as well as by the literary interests of his grandfather Polidori. The children were writing in the early 1840s and DGR was also beginning to draw and paint. He went to Sass's drawing school in 1841 and in 1845 moved to the Antique School of the Royal Academy. He did not work well under academic tutelage, however, and in 1848 he dropped away from school altogether.

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