THE Rossetti Archive facilitates the scholarly study of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the painter, designer, writer, and translator who was, according to both John Ruskin and Walter Pater, the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain. In Whistler's famous comment, “He was a king”.Here is the comment for "The Blue Bower", 1865, according to a scholar:
"The picture is a key example of the way DGR, in the 1860s especially, incorporated into his pictures both Venetian cinquecento stylistic devices and the formal and decorative features of Japanese ukiyo-e colored prints. This highly sensuous and decorative approach to his painting first appeared in DGR's remarkable work of 1860, Bocca Baciata. The connection of that painting to the present work is underscored by the fact that the poem doubling the 1860 painting of Bocca Baciata carries the received title of “The Song of the Bower”. The highly erotic idea of “the bower” pervades all of DGR's work, both textual and pictorial.
Strongly erotic as it is, the picture is nonetheless an all but abstract colourist work, a kind of homage to the Venetian and Japanese masters whose pictures DGR was admiring. The contrast of the voluptuous floral work and jewellery with the hexagonal blue background tiles sets a compositional frame for the main drama of the picture, the play of its blues, greens, golds, and reds. The irreal, even fantastic, character of the work gets focused by the purely decorative function of the Japanese koto, which could neither be present nor played in this way or setting. Spencer-Longhurst also rightly observes the contrast DGR works out within the floral materials themselves, where the “opulence (of the passion flowers and clinging wild convolvulus) is balanced by the modest sprig of light-blue cornflowers in the foreground, playing on (Fanny Cornforth's) name” (Spencer-Longhurst, 11)."