Lizzie Siddal was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1850 when she sat to Walter Deverell (see lot 31), Holman Hunt and Millais. She studied informally with Rossetti, who encouraged and greatly influenced her earnest, naive style. Her work was first seen in public when she showed literary subjects and a self-portrait at the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition held in Russell Place in the summer of 1857. After a long and often fraught engagement she married Rossetti in May 1860 and settled with him in London, but in February 1862 she died from an overdose of laudanum following the birth of a stillborn child. A major restrospective of her work was held at the Ruskin Gallery in Sheffield in 1991.
Her work exemplifies the Pre-Raphaelite taste for outline drawing and literary subjects, seen in the work of Rossetti, Hunt and Millais, while offering a female perspective on the style. Her watercolour Sir Patrick Spens is now in the Tate Gallery, London.