Monday, 30 November 2020

Edward Burne-Jones - part 1

c 1860s Sir Edward Burne-Jones by David Wilkie Wynfield
Albumen print 21 x 15.9 cm
Royal Academy of Arts, London

Edward Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham and was an important British artist of the 19th century. His art influenced major European painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work encompassed styles of Medievalist, Pre-Raphaelite, Symbolist, and Aesthetic art. He was also an Arts and Crafts designer.

The son of Edward Richard Jones, framer and gilder, and Elizabeth Coley, who died six days after his birth. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School, Birmingham. In 1853 he entered Exeter College, Oxford, as a divinity student where he met William Morris.

Although untrained as an artist, he took inspiration from the art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In 1856 he received lessons in painting from Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82). In 1857 he received his first artistic commission for Archibald MacLaren's "The Fairy Family." 


1857 The Fairy Family

1857 also saw his first commission to design stained glass, for James Powell & Sons, of "The Good Shepherd."


1857 The Good Shepherd
watercolour and ink 128.9 x 47.7 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Burne-Jones created many pen and ink designs, imitative of Rossetti. He began his first mural painting for the Old Debating Chamber in the Oxford Union Society in 1857. He visited Italy four times between 1859-1873. During the early visits he made copies of the Old Masters, while later he was influenced by the Renaissance artists Botticelli and Michelangelo. 1860 he married Georgiana Macdonald on 9 June in Manchester. He utilised her as the model for his female subjects for many years.

1861, a founding partner of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Designs creating stained glass cartoons, textiles, including embroidery and ceramic tiles. His medieval subjects merged with his interest in Venetian painting in watercolours of the early 1860s. In the 1870s this is replaced by the influence of classical sculpture. An introduction to the Anglo- Greek community in London sees Maria Zambaco (1843-1914) become his new muse and model in the later 1860s.

By 1875 he was the sole designer of stained glass for Morris & Co. In 1885 elected Associate of the Royal Academy; and Honorary President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, visiting Birmingham in the autumn. In 1887 he started work on the largest watercolour of the 19th century, "The Star of Bethlehem", completed in 1890. The watercolour was commissioned by the Corporation of Birmingham for the City's new Museum and Art Gallery. Shortly before his death, Burne-Jones completed an unfinished watercolour painting, begun in 1865, 'The Prioress' Tale', which fuses many of the aspects of his long and varied career.


1869-98 The Prioress's Tale
watercolour and gouache on paper mounted on linen
 103.5 x 62.8 cm
 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE

This is part 1 of a 14-part series on the works of Edward Burne-Jones:


c1856-61 Study for the figure of 'The Blessed Damozel'
pencil on cream paper 20.4 x 33.6 cm
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1856-61c The Blessed Damozel
watercolour, gouache, and shell gold on paper mounted on canvas 40.7 x 20.7 cm
Harvard Art Museums
© President and Fellows of Harvard College

1857 Solomon and the Queen of Sheba design for stained glass 
watercolour and India ink 213 x 49.5 cm 
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1857 The Annunciation
oil on canvas 53.4 x 19.5 cm 
Birmingham Museums Trust, UK

Whisper Whisper from "The Fairy Family"

1857 Adam and Eve after the Fall
design for stained glass watercolour and India ink 214.4 x 47.8 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1857 Building of the Tower of Babel
design for stained glass watercolour and India ink 220.4 x 52 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1857 The Annunciation
oil on canvas 53.4 x 19.5 cm 
Birmingham Museums Trust, UK

c1857 Calling of Saint Peter
stained glass 107.2 x 35.6 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1858 Sir Galahad
black ink on vellum 15.6 x 19.2 cm
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA 
© President and Fellows of Harvard College

1858 The Knights Farewell
ink on paper 22 x 27 cm
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

1858-59 Alice la Belle Pèlerine
graphite and black ink, heightened with white, on vellum 25.5 x 14.5 cm


1857 The Good Shepherd
watercolour and ink 128.9 x 47.7 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1858 Study for Merlin in "Merlin and Nimue"
graphite 32.7 x 18 cm

1861 Merlin and Nimue
watercolour and gouache 64.1 x 50.8 cm

after 1859 Sketchbook 
graphite and watercolour on paper 19 x 26.3 cm: 





















                               *         *         *         *        *
c1859-60" I rose up in the silent night: I made my dagger sharp and bright"
from Tennyson's poem "The Sisters"
pen and black ink with scratching out over graphite on wove paper 12.7 x 14.6 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA

1860 (made) Christ in Majesty
gouache 131 cm diameter
Victoria & Albert Museum, London


1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard

A design for a cabinet depicting good and bad animals. The cabinet itself was probably designed by Philip Webb and then painted by Burne-Jones with the scenes. It was Burne-Jones's gift to his bride, Georgiana MacDonald on 9 June 1860. In her 'Memorials', Georgiana Burne-Jones described its origins thus:' In the unsettled week before his marriage Edward had amused himself by painting some figures upon a plain deal sideboard which he possessed, and this in its new state was a delightful surprise to find. 'Ladies & Animals' he called the subjects illustrated, and there were seven pictures, three on the cupboard doors in front, and two at each end, which showed them in various relations to each other. Three kind and attentive ladies were feeding pigs, parrots and fishes; two cruel ones were tormenting an owl by forcing him to look at himself in a round mirror, and a goldfish by draining him dry in a net; while two more were expiating such sins in terror at a hideous newt upon the garden path and the assault of a swarm of angry bees.' 



1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard study
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard study
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard study
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard study
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard study
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 Ladies and Animals Sideboard
pine, painted in oil paint, with gold and silver leaf
 116.8 x 152.4 x 73.7 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London


1860 Ladies and Death
pen and ink over graphite laid down on thin card 14.4 x 45 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

1860 Ladies and Death detail

1860 Ladies and Death detail

1860: Sidonia von Bork 1560

Sidonia von Bork is the central character in Wilhelm Meinhold's gothic romance 'Sidonia the Sorceress'. The novel is set in sixteenth-century Pomerania and chronicles the crimes of the evil Sidonia, whose beauty captivates all who see her. She is shown here at the court of the dowager Duchess of Wolgast, one of the early intrigues in a career that leads to her execution as a witch. Many of the details of Sidonia's appearance are taken directly from Meinhold's description, but the costume is derived from a portrait of Isabella d'Este by Giulio Romano at Hampton Court. This is one of three figure studies, which were the earliest watercolours Burne-Jones completed.



1860 Sidonia von Bork 1560
watercolour and gouache on paper 33.3 x 17.1 cm
Tate, London

1860 Clara von Bork 1560
watercolour and gouache on paper 34.2 x 17.9 cm
Tate, London

1860 The Star of Bethlehem
watercolour and gouache 101.1 x 152 cm
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 The Third day of Creation design for stained glass
gouache 96 cm diameter
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1860 The Wedding Procession of Sir Degrevaunt
 mural design
pencil on blue paper, squared for transfer 28.8 x 28.9 cm
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1860 The Wedding Procession of Sir Degrevaunt
tempera on plaster 114 x 102 cm
Red House, Kent, National Trust

1860-63 Phyllis
linen ground, partially painted, and embroidered with wools and with couched gold thread 126 x 51 cm
 Victoria & Albert Museum, London

c1860-80 Design for stained glass 144.1 x 54.6 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

c1860 (made) Merchant's Daughter
stained glass 33.6 x 18.5 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

c1860c (made) The King
stained glass 33.6 x 18.4 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

1860c Study for ‘Ezekiel and the Boiling Pot’
graphite on paper 4.3 x 11.6 cm
Tate, London

1860c Study for ‘Ezekiel and the Boiling Pot’
graphite on paper 4.4 x 11.7 cm
Tate, London

1860c Study for ‘Ezekiel and the Boiling Pot’
graphite on paper 18.1 x 13.3 cm
Tate, London

1881 (published) Parable of the Boiling Pot
engraved by the Dalziel Brothers
wood engraving on paper 17.8 x 13.3 cm

Ezekiel and the Boiling Pot
ink and watercolour on vellum mounted on canvas
 26 x 15.2 cm
Tate, London




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