The blessed damozel leaned out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters stilled at even.
D. G. Rossetti
A first treatment of the subject was made in 1857 in oil but was abandoned ( Sotheby's 19 June 1984), a pen and ink version is included in The Little Holland House Album of 1858 and a pencil study c1860 is in the Birmingham Museum Art Gallery.
The model has a close resemblance to Jane Morris and the medieval costume is similar to that found in "Girl and Goldfish ( 1861-2). Probably painted at Red house, using the apple blossom from the trees in the garden that Morris had been at pains to preserve. Behind the figure is the medieval inspired rose trellis that Morris had planted and at the base of the picture is a playful reference to the roof of Red house itself.