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Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, 1833–98. English painter and decorator, b. Birmingham. Expected to enter the Church, he went to Exeter College, Oxford, where he met William Morris, who became his lifelong friend. He left Oxford to study painting with Rossetti in London and joined the Pre-Raphaelites. Burne-Jones's early work shows Rossetti's strong influence, which was later replaced by his emulation of Botticelli and Mantegna. Burne-Jones rose to success in 1877 with the opening of the Grosvenor Gallery. Among his well-known paintings are King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (1884; Tate Gall., London); Depths of the Sea; and Star of Bethlehem (Birmingham Gall.). His works described a dreamlike, medieval world, a vision popular with his contemporaries. His designs for stained glass, executed by Morris and Company, may be seen in churches throughout England. Burne-Jones also created the woodcut illustrations for the Kelmscott Press edition of the works of Chaucer. In his day he received many honors, and his delicate, though mannered, work continues to be admired.

See his drawings, studies, and paintings, ed. by Piccadilly Gallery (1971); biographies by P. Fitzgerald (1975, repr. 1997) and F. MacCarthy (2012); studies by L. D. Cecil (1960) and M. Harrison and B. Waters (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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