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…
“I mean by a picture a beautiful, romantic dream of something that never was, never will be – in a light better than any light that ever shone – in a land no one can define or remember, only desire – and the forms divinely beautiful – and then I wake up, with the waking … Read more
Today I have been contemplating this passage from The Memorials of Burne-Jones: “All the actual study of painting that Edward did with Rossetti was a few mornings’ work in his studio, but what he learnt from him was far more than painting. “He taught me to have no fear or shame of my own ideas, … Read more
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
I love how names from ancient mythology still permeate our language. They do not shrivel and fall away. They persist. Today we use the word psyche to sum up everything that we are. It is our soul, our mind. It is both our conscious and unconscious. Our subconscious fears and troubles lurk in our psyche. … Read more
Fiona MacCarthy’s book The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prizes, the only major British book awards judged by scholars and students of Literature.
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
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
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
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
The Beguiling of Merlin is a special painting to me, as mentioned in this previous post from 2007 . Painted by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones in the 1870s, this painting shares the entrapment of Merlin. There are many different versions of the tale of Merlin and Nimue. Nimue is a Lady of the Lake and is … Read more
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, 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
‘A Circle of Sisters’: Eminent Victorians (from Amanda Foreman, the author of ”Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire,”) link via New York Times Online.
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 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