This was one of the first major Pre-Raphalite pictures to enter the collection and was bought directly from the artist's studio sale in May 1883. It is an unfinished version of an earlier painting of 1879 which is at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. There is also a pastel version of 1870 at Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester.
The picture illustrates a passage from the Dante's Vita Nuova in which a woman, otherwise known as the 'Lady of the Window', looks down from her window upon the grief-stricken Dante mourning the death of Beatrice. Here the lady is seen seated at an open window, leaning her arms upon the sill, and looking downwards. The head is a likeness of Jane Morris.