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Sofa and cushion: M/F.1 & A-1918

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Object information


Possibly Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (Maker)
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (Designer)
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (Painter)


Open-back sofa of wood painted black and partially gilded, the back painted with three figures in oval medallions inscribed "Amor," "Amans," and "Amata" (Love, the Loving or Lover, the Beloved), upholstered with contemporary green cut velvet, and accompanied by a square cushion of the same fabric (A)


History note: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 16 Cheyne Walk, London; Charles Fairfax Murray

Legal notes

Given by C. Fairfax Murray

Measurements and weight

Depth: 66 cm
Height: 82.6 cm
Length: 199.1 cm

Relative size of this object

2 m82.6 cm66 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1918) by Murray, Charles Fairfax


Third quarter of 19th century
Production date: circa AD 1862 : dated


Rossetti’s career encompassed poetry, painting and design, and bridged three key artistic schools of the late 19th century: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Arts & Crafts Movement and Aestheticism. His later life centred on Tudor House, 16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, to which he moved in 1862, after the death of his wife, artist Elizabeth Siddal (1829-62). Increasingly reclusive, his earlier interest in interiors intensified and the house became a canvas for experimentation in colour, texture, and stylistic eclecticism. This Regency revival style sofa stood in his bedroom, alongside matching green velvet curtains, and a four-poster bed hung with seventeenth century crewelwork. It was described by Rossetti's assistant, painter H. Treffry Dunn, as: 'an old-fashioned sofa, with three little panels let into the back, whereon Rossetti had painted the figures of Amor, Amans, and Amata... With its rich, dark green velvet seats and luxurious pillows, this sofa looked very pretty and formed the only comfortable piece of furniture visible’. Rossetti chose to decorate this sofa with three medallions showing a love-struck young man (‘the Loving’), a figure of Cupid with his bow and arrow (‘Love’) and a sleeping young woman (‘the Beloved’), who may resemble his late wife. Although the sofa is in an 'old-fashioned' style, it is now thought to have been made for Rossetti in 1862 by decorative arts firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company (a precursor of Morris & Company), of which Rossetti was a founding partner, in 1861. The sofa was given to the Museum by Charles Faifax Murray, an artist, collector and dealer associated with both Rossetti and Morris, who also donated Titian’s 'Tarquin and Lucretia' to the Fitzwilliam.

School or Style

Regency Revival

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Seat composed of velvet ( dark green) Frame composed of wood paint gold Decoration Seatq

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Amor, Amans, Amata
  • Location: Above three medallions with figures on the back
  • Method of creation: Painted
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M/F.1 & A-1918
Primary reference Number: 95820
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 17 March 2022 Last processed: Thursday 17 March 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Sofa and cushion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-06-29 20:41:14

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{{cite web|url= |title=Sofa and cushion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-29 20:41:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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