Viola and Olivia

The verses were written for the etching of Viola and Olivia by Walter Deverell, one of the few visual works executed by Deverell as part of the P.R.B. In his introduction to the 1901 facsimile of The Germ, William Michael Rossetti says:

"The verses are not of much significance. The etching by Deverell, however defective in technique, claims more attention, as the Viola was drawn from Miss Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, whom Deverell had observed in a bonnet-shop some few months before the etching was done, and who in 1860 became the wife of Dante Rossetti. This face does not give much idea of hers, and yet it is not unlike her in a way. The face of Olivia bears some resemblance to Christina Rossetti: I think however that it was drawn, not from her, but from a sister of the artist."