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Rossetti’s “very best picture” returns to Guildhall Art Gallery

Rossetti’s ‘La Ghirlandata’ is excitingly returning to Guildhall Art Gallery on 8 March.

La Ghirlandata, Rossetti’s “very best picture” and one of Guildhall Art Gallery's most popular paintings, will be back on display on Friday 8 March, after being featured in Tate Britain's ‘The Rossettis’ exhibitions in London and Delaware Art Museum.

About the Painting

Described by the Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet as “my very best picture”, 'La Ghirlandata' was acquired by the City of London Corporation in 1927 for its permanent art collection and is usually displayed in the gallery’s main Victorian exhibition space.

The 1873 oil on canvas depicts ‘the garlanded woman’ playing an arpanetta and looking directly at the viewer. The artist’s muse for the central figure was the actor and model, Alexa Wilding, with two ‘angels’ in the top corners posed by William and Jane Morris’ youngest daughter, May Morris.

Two people looking at a golden framed painting of a woman with red hair wearing a green gown, hanging on a dark green wall

Conservation Project

In 2018, Bank of America awarded an Art Conservation Grant to the City Corporation to facilitate an extensive restoration of the painting. The grant enabled conservators to undertake the restoration, which included scientific paint analysis and visual imaging to examine, test, and treat the painting and its frame.

Free Family Activities

On Saturday, 9 March, the Gallery will be celebrating the women in your life and their collection with International Women's Day, Mother's Day and Women's History Month in mind as well as celebrating the return of 'La Ghirlandata'. The day will include storytelling, as well as the chance to create your own 'garlanded' artwork and hear about inspiring women on the pick-and-mix family art tour.

Kid wearing a giant strawberry hat

Related Links

Guildhall Art Gallery and London’s Roman Amphitheatre
Discover a fine art collection spanning 400 years and sept into the ruins of London's Roman Amphitheatre
La Ghirlandata – Conservation Treatment
In 2019 'La Ghirlandata' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti underwent a year-long conservation project to restore the painting and its original frame.
The Guildhall Art Gallery has a small team of trained and experienced paintings and frames conservators who care for and preserve the works.
Technical Examination of ‘Pomegranates’ by Albert Joseph Moore
‘Pomegranates’ is one of the first paintings in which Albert Moore (1841–1893) showed a commitment to what has been loosely termed ‘Aestheticism’.
Conservation of ‘London Bridge’ by Daniel Turner
Painting of frozen River Thames and London Bridge in the background 'London Bridge' by Daniel Turner, before conservation treatment.
The Conservation of ‘Doctor Joseph Joaquim’ by James Archer
The conservation of the ‘Portrait of Doctor Joseph Joaquim’ c.1876, by James Archer.
Conservation of ‘Gladioli and Roses’ by Henri Fantin-Latour
'Gladioli and Roses' 1880 by Henri Fantin-Latour was treated by Claire Shepherd during her postgraduate internship at the Guildhall Art Gallery.