First of all, compare her profile to Lizzie's:
It's hardly worth arguing any further. But it's further interesting that the artwork was painted in 1863, a year after Lizzie died in 1862. Prinsep was apparently a good friend to Rossetti, and was the artist of one of the Oxford Debating Hall murals, before he went his own artistic way in the mid-60s. It appears this artwork may have not only been an homage to Lizzie, but to a time that was ending.
The artwork features a barn owl, a creature who is considered a symbol of death in many cultures. The Barn Owl in particular is associated with death, and is sometimes called the Death Owl for this reason.
The plant in the corner appears to be either an orange or a pomegranate tree. The orange tree was a symbol of true love and marriage. Prinsep also chose to pose Lizzie in a position that seems to intentionally show her wedding ring on her left finger.
For all these reasons, I would speculate that Prinsep painted this artwork as a posthumous memoir to Lizzie, but also as a comfort to her widower, his good friend Rossetti. The symbolism emphasizes her devotion as a true loving wife, and the calm with which she embraces the symbol of death shows that she wasn't afraid of her own passing. What a beautiful symbol of comfort from one genius friend to another!
I'd love to know what your take is on this artwork...the above is ALL my own speculation based JUST on the facts as presented in the artwork. Do you agree? Disagree? Have information to shed new light on this gorgeous piece?