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(Eleanor)

(b London, July 25, 1829; d London, Feb 11, 1862).

English painter, Model and poet. She was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by Walter Howell Deverell. On seeing her working in a milliner’s shop in 1849, he was apparently struck by her fine and unusual appearance and asked her to model for him. She agreed and posed for the figure of Viola in his painting Twelfth Night (1849–50; London, Forbes Mag. Col.). She next modelled for William Holman Hunt, appearing in a number of his paintings dating from 1850, and then for John Everett Millais’s Ophelia (1852; London, Tate). By 1852 she had met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and by the end of the year she sat only to him.

Siddal took up drawing and painting in 1852 while in close association with the Pre-Raphaelites and concentrated on medieval literary themes and portraits. She often worked closely with Rossetti, whom she married in 1860. Her early works were mainly illustrations to poems by Tennyson, such as ...