Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund (1901-1902)

De Morgan, Evelyn (1855-1919)

Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund
Probably 19011902
Oil on canvas, 75.6 x 66.7 cm
De Morgan Collection

Rosamund was the mistress of Henry II, who built a house for her at Woodstock in Oxfordshire. Legends say that he tried to keep her safe by installing her in a house called Labyrinthus, which was in effect a maze. But Queen Eleanor found her way through by using a thread and poisoned her.

This legend makes an attractive picture, but is contradicted by historic fact. Henry imprisoned Queen Eleanor from 11741189 for supporting the rebellion of two of her sons against their father. Rosamund entered a nunnery in 1174 or 1176 and died there in 1176. At the time of Rosamund‘s death, Queen Eleanor was a prisoner in Winchester. (De Morgan Foundation)


Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (1828-1882)
Fair Rosamund
National Museum WalesCardiff



Scott, William Bell (1811-1890)
Fair Rosamond Alone in Her Bower
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and MuseumGlasgow



Scott, William Bell (1811-1890)
Fair Rosamund in her Bower
after 1854
Private collection



Waterhouse, John William (1849-1917)
Fair Rosamund
National Museum WalesCardiff



See also:

• Clifford, Rosamund (c.1140-c.1176) | Eleanor of Aquitaine (c.1122-1204) | Henry II, King of England (1133-1189)