Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Theodore Watts-Dunton

This augmented reality (AR) experience focuses on Henry Treffry Dunn’s 1882 double portrait of 19th-century painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his good friend, the critic, poet, and novelist, Theodore Watts-Dunton, from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Rossetti was associated with three artistic movements: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Arts & Crafts, and Aestheticism, and both men made important literary contributions throughout the second half of the 19th century. Users can bring the portrait into their own classroom, office or home, either placing it on a wall or free-standing easel. Rab McGibbon, National Portrait Gallery’s 17th and 18th Centuries Collections Curator, narrates the experience, sharing stories and details about Rossetti’s residence at Cheyne Walk, the creative climate of the artist’s inner circle, and some of the dramatic events of his life. The setting’s aestheticized and idiosyncratic decor is heightened by early romantic period music and a 3D convex mirror, which pops up off the painting, reflecting yet another facet of Rossetti’s reclusive world.

*Boulevard acknowledges Matthew Bailey, Rights & Images Manager, National Portrait Gallery, London, for his dramatic reading of a passage from Rossetti’s ballad “Rose Mary.”