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(b London, 12 May 1828; d Birchington, nr. Margate, Kent, 9 Apr. 1882). English painter and poet. He came from a remarkable and talented family: his father was an exiled Italian patriot and Dante scholar, his sister the poet Christina Rossetti, and his brother the critic William Michael Rossetti. Growing up in modest circumstances but a strongly literary environment, he at first found it hard to decide whether he should devote himself to poetry or painting. Although painting became his profession (following the advice given to him by the poet and critic Leigh Hunt: ‘If you paint as well as you write, you may be a rich man’), he continued to write poetry and make translations from the Italian, and he has a secure place in literary history.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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