Sir Edward Burne-Jones
A member of the pre-Raphaelite movement that was formed in England in 1848, Sir Edward Burne-Jones became one of the leading figures in a new trend, known as Aestheticism, that emerged in the 1860s. This composition can be seen as an exaltation of ideal beauty, bringing the atmosphere of the painting into alignment with a perspective shared by late Victorian art.
The painter employs minimum of narrative elements, creating a linear arrangement of poetic and oneiric figures clad in pseudo-classical clothing in the manner of a Greek-inspired frieze. Rather than aiming for a formal stylistic resemblance, Burne-Jones seeks to create a general affinity with a Renaissance atmosphere. In a manner clearly suggestive of the Quattrocento, and Botticelli in particular, the work gives precedence to the decorative harmony of the whole and deliberately evokes a sense of nostalgia for the past.
Like The Bath of Venus, which also belongs to the Gulbenkian Collection, the composition derives from an illustration intended for The Hill of Venus, part of William Morris’s poem The Earthly Paradise, which was inspired by the medieval legend of Tannhäuser.
Frederick R. Leyland Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from Arthur Ruck, London, 29 September 1924.
H. 120 cm; W. 200 cm
Christopher Wood, The Pre-Raphaelites. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981, p. 119.
Luísa Sampaio, Painting in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon/Milan: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum/Skira, 2009, pp. 240–1, cat. 109.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2011, p. 189, cat. 168.
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.