Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal

Lady Affixing Pennant to a Knight’s Spear

c.1856

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal 1829–1862
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 137 x 137 mm
frame: 378 x 378 x 23 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by W.C. Alexander 1917
Reference
N03202

Display caption

Elizabeth Siddall began painting in 1852 and made over a hundred works in the following ten years. Her style and subject matter was close to Rossetti's, but their relationship was reciprocal, with each of their medieval, romantic dreams supporting the other's. They sometimes collaborated, and Siddall's compositions were copied by Rossetti for one of his pictures. Ruskin greatly admired her work, and paid her a retainer to support her career. Here she treats a chivalric subject, albeit one laden with sexual symbolism.

Gallery label, August 2004