Celebrate Burne-Jones’ 180th Birthday at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Wednesday. August 28th, will be Edward Burne-Jones’ 180th birthday.  To celebrate, visitors to the Lady Lever Art Gallery will be treated to a giant birthday cake. The cake will feature ‘Angel playing a Flageolet’, a classic example of Burne-Jones’ work from National Museums Liverpool’s Pre-Raphaelite collection. More details here…

The End of the Affair

When Psyche is distraught over the loss of her love Eros, she attempts suicide in a river.  She survives and the god Pan offers her comfort and advice. Burne-Jones painted this version of Pan and Psyche after his lover, Maria Zambaco, attempted to throw herself in Regent’s Canal in an ugly and embarrassing scene.  It … Read more


Last week, I posted about reading the classic fairy tale Undine, in which a water spirit marries a human in order to gain a soul.  If you seek the enchantments of water-women, then a dose of Burne-Jones is in order: The Sea-Nymph: One of the most haunting images I’ve ever seen, The Depths of the … Read more

The Green Girl

If you are reading Mortal Love along with us, you may have noticed that part one of  the book is titled The Green Girl.  It strikes me as such a perfect phrase when dealing with anything that even remotely alludes to the Pre-Raphaelites. This post isn’t really about Mortal Love, I’ll save that for later. … Read more

William Morris and Le Morte d’Arthur

Since finishing Le Morte d’Arthur, I’ve been refreshing my memory and reading all the references I can find regarding Pre-Raphaelite art and Arthurian influences. My first choice was a William Morris biography that I happily stumbled across at a flea market a few years ago. There’s one paragraph in particular that always stands out to … Read more

Burne-Jones: The Blessed Damozel

The Blessed Damozel, painted by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, is based on a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti of the same name.   Rossetti was nineteen when he wrote The Blessed Damozel, which tells the tale of two lovers who will one day be reunited in heaven. “The blessed damozel leaned out From the gold bar of … Read more

Sidonia von Bork by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

The intricate pattern of Sidonia’s gown is amazing. Painted in 1860, Sidonia von Bork is an early watercolor by Burne-Jones and is based on the book Sidonia the Sorceress.  Burne-Jones used model Fanny Cornforth (a Rossetti favorite) to portray Sidonia.  We see her standing in profile, apparently lost in thought while plotting and scheming.  In … Read more

Fair Rosamund and Queen Eleanor

  Fair Rosamund, mistress of King Henry II, is depicted in light colors that represent innocence and virginity. In contrast, Queen Eleanor wears an angry black. Despite being the wronged wife, it is the fair Rosamund that we pity. The fear is visible on her lovely, crying face. Rosamund is trying to flee, but it … Read more

Pre-Raphaelite Collection on Public Display

Via theatnewspaper.com: LONDON. A collection of 53 pictures by Burne-Jones and his contemporaries is to go on show at Fulham Palace, ending speculation that it might be sold. The works were bequeathed by amateur artist Cecil French to London’s Fulham council (now Hammersmith & Fulham) in 1953. Since 1983 several paintings have been on display … Read more

The Tale of Pygmalion

The tale of Pygmalion dates back to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The paintings featured here are the second series painted by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Pygmalion is a sculptor who is disgusted by the behavior of local women, who are frivolous, shallow, and immoral. His decision to live a life of celibacy instead of choosing one of … Read more