The National Museum of Western Art

update 15 December 2017

on display Permanent Collection

Dante Gabriel Rossetti [London, 1828 - Birchington on Sea, 1882]

The Loving Cup

Materials/Techniquesoil on panel
Size (cm)66 x 45.7
InscriptionsSigned (in monogram) and dated lower left: DGR 1867; Titled on top of frame: THE LOVING CUP; Inscribed on bottom of frame: Douce nuit et joyeux jour / A chevalier de bel amour.
Credit LineEx-Matsukata Collection
Standard ref.Surtees 201
Collection NumberP.1984-0005
The Loving Cup

 A British Victorian-era painter and poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti formed the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood seeking to recapture the naïve approach to art of the time before Raphael. The painting shows a woman raising a golden “loving cup”. Behind her are four brass plates depicting scenes from the Bible and ivy leaves symbolizing loyalty and eternity. The inscription on the frame, “Douce nuit et joyeux jour/A chevalier de bel amour”(“Sweet night and happy days./To the well-loved knight”), suggests she may be offering a toast to her lover on his way to war. (Source: Gallery label, October 2016)


F. R. Leyland; Auc. Leyland, Christie's, 28 May 1892, lot 58; T. H. Ismay (died ca. 1908); Mrs. Chandos-Pole-Gell, 1923; Kojiro Matsukata; Jugo Ginko (The Fifteenth Bank), Kobe, 1927; Private Collection, Kobe, 1927; Chichibu-Shokai, Tokyo, 1971; Purchased by the NMWA, 1984.

Exhibition History

Exhibition of works by the old masters, and by deccased masters of the British school, including a special selection from the work of John Linnell and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1883 - 1883, cat. no. 299
The Old Matsukata Collection, Kobe City Museum, 14 September 1989 - 26 November 1989, cat. no. 71, col. repr.
Rossetti, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 22 September 1990 - 14 November 1990, cat. no. 44, col. repr.
[Exhibition for Children] Exploring Mysterious Painted World, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 July 1995 - 10 September 1995
Tanka at the National Museum of Western Art: An Encounter between Poet and Art, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 25 July 2000 - 29 October 2000, cat. no. 52
The Rings from The Hashimoto Collection of The National Museum of Western Art, The National Museum of Western Art, 8 July 2014 - 15 September 2014, cat. no. 247


Sharp, William. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London, 1882, pp. 191-192.
Knight, Joseph. Life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London, 1887, p. xiv, no. 232.
Stephens, Frederick G. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London, 1894, p. 70.
Marillier, Henry C. Dante Gabriel Rossetti: An Illustrated Memorial of His Art and Life. London, 1899, pp. 147-148, no. 190, repr.
Masterpieces of Rossetti. London; Glasgow, 1923, p. 41.
Surtees, Virginia. The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882): A Catalogue Raisonné. 2 vols., Oxford, 1971, no. 201 ("believed to have been lost in the Second World War").
Henderson, Marina. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London, 1973, p. 73 (as destroyed in the Second World War).
Casteras, Susan P. The Double Vision in Portraiture. D. G. Rossetti and Double Work of Art (exh. cat.). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 23 September - 14 November 1976, [New Haven], 1976, p. 18.
Smith, Sarah Hamilton Phelps. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Flower Imagery and the Meaning of His Paintings. University of Pittsburg, 1978, Dissertation, p. 105 (on subject matter and inscription).
Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. No. 19 (1984), 1988 , Yukiyama, Koji. New Acquisitions 1984. pp. 11-15, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions 1984. pp. 30-32, repr.
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1989 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 83, repr.
The Old Matsukata Collection ( Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe,"Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. 1331.
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp. 58-60, repr.
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 97, col. repr.

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