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Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley

1833-1898 • British — Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones is among the greatest and most respected of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, renowned for his enigmatic, dreamlike style of.

Born in Birmingham, Burne-Jones' mother died within a week of giving birth. The tragic circumstance left his father grief-stricken and unable to care for him, and he was raised by an emotionally indifferent housekeeper. His grim childhood fueled Burne-Jones' interest in fantasy stories, namely Arthurian legends, which proved to be a guiding force throughout his life and career. He attended Oxford University with the intent of a career in the Church. It is here he met his lifelong friend, artist William Morris, and jointly, they became involved in what is referred to as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Burne-Jones soon left Oxford and moved to London where he met his mentor Dante Gabriel Rossetti. With only Rossetti's guidance and no academic training, Burne-Jones was able to develop his own distinctive technique. He did not receive much attention in his early career, for his fanciful images were considered contrary to the styles prevalent and accepted by the Royal Academy. It was not until a showing of his work at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877 that he reached critical acclaim.

By 1885, his works were in great demand by collectors world-wide. His showing at the Paris Exhibition Universelle of 1889 proved to be his greatest triumph, being awarded the first-class medal. He awed the viewing public with the romantic, otherworld intensity with which he depicted his subjects. For this reason, he became known as a key figure in the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the 1880s.

Artist's Museums:

Musée d'Orsay, Pari

Tate Gallery, London

The British Museum, London

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.



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