Sir Edward Burne-Jones

 

Artist Biography:

Edward Coley Burne-Jones, born in Birmingham in 1833, was originally destined for the Church but his fellow divinity student at Oxford, William Morris, turned his interest to art. This interest increased when he became an apprentice to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Although he had Classical tastes (for example his elongated forms owed much to the style of Boticelli), Burne-Jones, like Rossetti, painted in a consciously aesthetic style. He hated the work of modernists such as the Impressionists, favouring instead medieval and mythical subjects. His ideas on painting are summed up as follows: ‘I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream, of something that never was, never will be - in light better than any that ever shone - in a land no-one can define or remember, only desire - and the forms divinely beautiful.’ Although not a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Burne-Jones remained a close friend of Rossetti and thus became associated with the Group during its later phase, when "Pre-Raphaelite" works were increasingly linked in the popular imagination with medieval romance. Burne Jones reached the peak of his fame in the 1870s, especially abroad where he had a wide following, particularly in France, and where he helped to inspire the growth of the new "Symbolist" movement. Some of his finest work was done in association with William Morris, with whom he was a founder member of Morris and Co. in 1861, most notably as a designer of stained glass and tapestries, and as an illustrator of some of the Kelmscott Press books. Sir Edward Burne-Jones died in 1898.

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