The National Museum of Western Art

update 14 September 2021

Currently not on display

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

The Loving Cup

Materials/Techniquesoil on panel
Size (cm)66 x 45.7
InscriptionsMonogrammed and dated lower left: DGR 1867; titled and inscribed on the frame (top): THE LOVING CUP; (bottom): Douce nuit et joyeux jour / A chevalier de bel amour.
Credit LineEx-Matsukata Collection
Standard ref.Surtees 201; M942
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)


Frederick Richards Leyland; his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 May 1892 (Lugt 50880), lot 58; T. H. Ismay, ca. 1908; Mrs. Chandos-Pole-Gell, 1923; Thomas Agnew & Sons, London [gallery label on the reverse]; W. Lawson Peacock, London [gallery label on the reverse]; Kojiro Matsukata, Kobe; pledged by Matsukata to save his business, Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd., Kobe and then seized by Jugo Bank, Tokyo, 1927, no. 8 [Jugo Bank label on the reverse]; Kyūzaemon Wada, Kobe, 1927; Chichibu Shōkai, Co., Ltd., Tokyo, 1971; purchased by 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
The Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey: Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 June 2019 - 23 September 2019, cat. no. 22, col. repr.


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.
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp. 58-60, repr.
The Old Matsukata Collection ( Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe,"Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. 1331.
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 91, col. 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.
The Matsukata Collection: Complete Catalogue of the European Art. Kawaguchi, Masako; Jingaoka, Megumi, eds. vol. 1: Paintings, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2018, cat. no. 942, col. repr.

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