Though he was born in London, both of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s parents were at least part Italian. His father had emigrated, seven years before his birth, for political reasons. His mother was born in England to an Italian father and an English mother. Poetical blood ran in both families. His sister Christina was a poet as well.
This is his earliest self-portrait, drawn in black and white chalk on tan paper in 1847, when he was nineteen. He started writing poems at this time, “Autumn Song” is from the next year.