Edward Burne-Jones by Joy and Jadyn

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones once said “I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be- in light better than any light that ever shone- in a land no one can define, or remember, only desire.” As a British artist associated with the pre-raphaelite movement he truly captures what he means in his art. Edward Burne-Jones was born August 23, 1833 and was raised by his father and the family housekeeper AnnSampson. His mother passed away a few days after his birth. After attending Birmingham’s King Edward VI Grammar School and the Birmingham School of Art, he studied theology at Exeter College, Oxford in 1853. At Oxford, he met and befriended William Morris. Together they joined the pre-Raphaelite community of artists in London and created various paintings including Oxford murals. They also established the William Morris in Morris, Marshal, Faulkner & Co. Burne-Jones was influenced by many artists such as Thomas Malory and his work Le morte d’Arthur. In 1864 he had his public debut at the Old Watercolor Society, but was not successful causing him to lose confidence in himself. However, this did not stop him!  In 1870 he took on mythical, religious, and folklore projects on a large scale. In 1877 his work was put on display in the first annual exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery. His work was praised greatly and he became an overnight celebrity. In 1890 he completed his “Sleeping Beauty”/ “Briar Rose” collection of works. He modeled the sleeping princess after his daughter Margaret. His art was involved in the rejuvenation of stained glass. His works also included the windows in St Philips Cathedral, Birmingham, St. Martin in the Bull Ring, Holy Trinity Church, and more. Below are two of his works from his “Sleeping Beauty”/ “Briar Rose” collection. As one can see, his art truly does captivate the audience, bringing them into a romantic dream that can only be desired. With the soft facial features, flowy clothing, and overall elegance to their sleeping nature, Burn-Jones brings Sleeping Beauty to life. The paintings and flow of colors pull the readers into almost a dazy dream of wonder and desire.

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