After the painter’s wife died, the model that Rossetti painted models was the wife of Maurice, Joan Baden. The old love made their relationship with the ambiguous color, but Rossetti, Maurice and Mrs. Maurice’s pure friendship was always praised by their friends who were familiar with them. Joan Baden has the bright eyes and slender mandible and a beauty similar to the Greek classical sculpture. There are seven paintings about Proserpine which all take her as the model, so that these works become the type of Rossetti beauty.
Proserpine is based on the Greek Rome myth. In the Rome myth, Proserpine is Persephone in the Greek myth who is the wife of Hades. It is said that she is daughter of the god Zeus and goddess of grain Demiteer. When she is picking flowers in the woods, the land suddenly opens. Then Hades comes out form the underground and robs Proserpine to marry him. Her mother, the goddess of grain Demiteer, is looking for her daughter, so that the land is barren without grain. The whole mankind falls into famine. The god Zeus has to judge that Hades allows Proserpine to go back to stay with her mother every spring. Therefore she is also known as the symbol of sowing and harvest goddess. This work of Rossetti is actually a portrait under the name of Proserpine. The black background represents the nether world and Proserpine holds a pomegranate and seems to be concentrating and missing the sunny life on the ground. Pomegranate bears fruit in June, which is the only fruit she can bring back to her country. Seen from the color, the bloom red pomegranate also forms the punch line, which is the most eye-catching place.