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Bocca Baciata (Lips That Have Been Kissed)

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Rossetti here depicts his mistress, Fanny Cornforth, gazing at the viewer or perhaps at her own reflection in a mirror. The sensual sitter represents an idealized beauty, while the artist's use of luxurious decorative elements invites sheer visual enjoyment. Inscribed on the back of this panel...

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Lower left: G C D R (monogram); Reverse: Bocca Baciata no perde ventura, anzi rinnova come fa la / Boccaccio


1859, George Price Boyce (b. 1826 - d. 1897), Chelsea, England (original commission) [see note 1]; July 2, 1897, posthumous Boyce sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 211, to Dunthorne [see note 2]. 1897, Agnew, London, and Charles Fairfax Murray (b. 1849 - d. 1919), London [see note 3]; 1897, ownership passed fully to Murray; 1906, sold by Murray to Mrs. Edward D. Brandegee, Boston; by descent to her daughter, Martina Brandegee Lawrence (b. 1906 - d. 1959), Boston; by inheritance to her husband, James Lawrence (b. 1907 - d. 1995), Boston; 1980, gift of James Lawrence to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 18, 1980) NOTES: [1] Boyce, an architect, painter, and founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite society, was also a close friend and patron of Rossetti. He lent this painting to the "Exhibition of Old Masters," Royal Academy, London, 1883, cat. no. 309. [2] The name of the buyer is recorded by Algernon Graves, "Art Sales," vol. 3 (London, 1921), p. 104. He may have been an agent for Agnew or Murray. [3] Charles Fairfax Murray was a partner with the Agnew and purchased paintings for the firm. According to Barbara Bryant, in "The Age of Rossetti, Burne-Jones, & Watts: Symbolism in Britain, 1860-1910" (exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London 1997), p. 96, cat. no. 2, the painting was owned jointly by Agnew and Murray until 1897, and Murray sold it to Mrs. Brandegee in 1906.

Credit Line

Gift of James Lawrence



32.1 x 27.0 cm (12 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel