Poet & painter. Born 38 Charlotte Street, son of an Italian political refugee and Professor of Italian (with a bit of a thing about Dante). Brother to Christina. Their mother was brother to Dr Polidori. Godchild to Charles Lyell. In 1848/9 he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with his brother William and John Everet Millais. Had an affair with Jane Burden, William Morris's wife. Married Lizzie Siddal and on her suicide, placed a manuscript book of his poems in her coffin. Years later, needing poems to publish he had the book retrieved by gravediggers. Died at Westcliffe, Birchington, Kent and was buried there. Never visited Italy.
To our discredit we find we have begun a collection of famous men with uncomfortably enlarged testicles: see Gibbon and Mrs Thrale's husband, Henry. And now a Guardian book review reports that Rossetti had "a testicle so swollen his walk was lop-sided."