The Annunciation and the Adoration of the Magi Triptych, 1861
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt
Oil on canvas, Reference: N04743
Large image: HERE
Above: Triptych Left
Above: Triptych Center
Above: Triptych Right
This triptych was originally commissioned for the Church of St Paul’s, Brighton. It is one of the most important large-scale works from the early part of Burne-Jones’s career. After it had been installed in St Paul’s he decided that the central panel was too complicated and went on to paint a second version for the church. His handling of the Biblical story owes much to the paintings of the Italian Renaissance, particularly to nativity scenes by Fra Angelico and Tintoretto. He was also influenced by Rossetti, who was then working on a triptych for Llandaff Cathedral. Among those who modelled for the picture were William and Jane Morris, and the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne.
(Source: Tate Gallery)
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, BtPencil on paper210 x 133 mmReference: N02760.
In 1872 Burne-Jones embarked on a group of drawings illustrating ‘The Masque of Cupid’, a subject taken from Edmund Spenser’s great allegory, ‘The Faerie Queene’. The head in this drawing is that of Amorous Desire, who is depicted, as in Spenser’s description, blowing gently to awaken the sparks of passion. Over twenty years later, in 1897, Burne-Jones returned to his Spenserian drawings. However, far from stimulating new work on this theme, he then found Spenser’s poetry repellent. His wife recalled him saying, ‘How good it is when quoted and how weary to plod through’. Tate Gallery