Burne-Jones, Edward

BORN 22 Aug 1833, Birmingham: 11 Bennetts Hill - DIED 17 Jun 1898, London: Fulham
BIRTH NAME Burne-Jones, Edward Coley
GRAVE LOCATION Rottingdean, East Sussex: St. Margaret's Churchyard, 2-19 Dean Court Road ((ashes))

English symbolist. He spent the first twenty years of his life in Birmingham, an industrial town. In 1853 he went to Exeter College, Oxford, where he met William Morris, who became a lifelong friend. Both men wanted to enter the church, but after travelling in France Burne-Jones decided to become a painter in 1855.

He met Gabriel Dante Rossetti in 1856 and the latter gave him some informal lessons and influenced his style. Burne-Jones became a member of the Preraphaelite Brotherhood and travelled through Italy with Rossetti. In 1860 he married Georgia MacDonald, the sister of an old school friend.

In 1862 he visited Italy once more, this time with his wife and his patron John Ruskin. In 1870 he had an affair with his model Maria Zambaco, but he ended it because he felt remorse towards his wife, who was possibly in love with William Morris herself.

His paintings made Burne-Jones very famous and in 1894 he received a baronetcy. He died in 1898 and was buried in Rottingdon (near Brighton), where he had a country home.

After the death of his daughter Margaret in 1953 some of his work was sold for very low prices. In later years his work was rediscovered and valued much higher. The largest collection of his work can be found at the Birmingham Art Gallery.

The "Perseus" series (Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart);
"The Beguiling of Merlin" (1874, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool);
"The Wheel of Fortune" (1875-1883, Musée d'Orsay, Paris).

Related persons
• was a friend of Beardsley, Aubrey
• used as a model Blunt-Lytton, Judith Anne Dorothea, 16th Baroness Wentworth
• used as a model Cornforth, Fanny
• knew Khnopff, Fernand
• influenced Klimt, Gustav
• designed grave monument of Leyland, Frederick
• influenced Morgan, Evelyn de
• was a friend of Prinsep, Valentine
• was influenced by Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
• has a connection with Ruskin, John
• used as a model Spartali Stillman, Marie
• was a friend of Spencer-Stanhope, John Roddam
• painted Stephen, Julia Prinsep
• is grandparent of Thirkell, Angela
• painted Zambaco, Maria
• had a relationship with Zambaco, Maria

1/5/1877Opening of Grosvenor Gallery, London. It was located at 135-137 New Bond Street and it was founded by Sir Coutts Lindsay, who wanted to exhibit paintings that weren't fit for the nearby located Royal Academy. Burne-Jones, Whistler, Watts, Legros, Moore, Hubert von Herkomer, James Tissot, Millais and Holman Hunt were among those who exhibited. Rossetti refused to cooperate because work by members of the Royal Academy was exhibited as well. [Hunt, William Holman][Millais, John][Rossetti, Dante Gabriel][Whistler, James MacNeill]
10/7/1883Vernon Lee has a talk with Edward Burne-Jones. In a letter to her mother Matilda she wrote that she was at a dull diner with the Stephens, but that she had a long talk with Burne-Jones about Mrs Stillman who was the most beautiful woman Burne-Jones had ever seen. He also told her he admired the novelist Ouida greatly. [Lee, Vernon][Ouida][Spartali Stillman, Marie]
18/7/1898Paintings by Edward Burne-Jones fetch close to 30,000 pounds. Burne-Jones had died on 17 June 1898. The 'remaining works' from his studio were sold between 16 and 18 July 1898 at Christie's. "Love and the Pilgrim" was sold for 5,500 guineas. 


Plaque at Bennetts Hill in Birmingham on the location of the house where Edward Burne-Jones was born.
Picture by Androom (11 Aug 2011)


Plaques for Edward Burne-Jones and his wife Georgina at St. Margaret's Church, Rottingdean. There ashes were buried here.
Picture by Androom (07 Feb 2012)


Plaques for Edward Burne-Jones and his wife Georgina at St. Margaret's Church, Rottingdean. There ashes were buried here.
Picture by Androom (07 Feb 2012)


The house in Rottingdean, Sussex where Edward Burne-Jones lived.
Picture by Androom (03 Oct 2014)


Plaque for Edward Burne-Jones at the house where he lived in Rottingdean, Sussex.
Picture by Androom (03 Oct 2014)


"The Garden of the Hesperides".
   (1869-1873, Hamburg: Kunsthalle)

'Portrait of Maria Zambacco'.
   (1870, Neuss: Clemens-Sels-Museum)

'Portrait of Maria Zambacco' by Edward Burne-Jones.

"The Beguiling of Merlin".
   (1874, Port Sunlight: Lady Lever Art Gallery)

'Girl with sloping head'.
   (1874, [Sammlung Hegewisch])

"Pygmalion IV: The Soul Attains:".
   (1875-1878, Birmingham: City Museum and Art Gallery)

"The Princess Tied to the Tree".
   (1875-1878, New York: The Forbes Collection)

"The Annunciation".
   (1879, Port Sunlight: Lady Lever Art Gallery)

"The Tree of Forgiveness".
   (1881-1882, Port Sunlight: Lady Lever Art Gallery)

'The Wheel of Fortune'.
   (1882, Cardiff, Wales: National Museums and Galleries of Wales)

"The Rock of Doom".
   (1885-1888, Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie)

'The Baleful Head'.
   (1886-1887, Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie)

"The Doom Fulfilled".
   (1888, Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie)

"The Earthly Paradise (Sir Lancelot at the Chapel of the Holy Grail)".
   (1890, [private collection])

"Perseus and the Graces".
   (1892, Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie)

• Barilli, Renato, Die Präraffaeliten, Manfred Pawlak, Herrsching, 1988
• Gagel, Amanda, Selected Letters of Vernon Lee, 1856 - 1935, Volume I, 1865-1884, Routledge, 2016
Schilderkunst van A tot Z, REBO, Lisse, 1990
• Tomalin, Claire, The Last Pre-Raphaelite, Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination, Faber and Faber, London, 2011
• Wildman, Stephen, John Christian, Edward Burne-Jones 1833-1898, Un maître anglais de l'imaginaire, Réunion des Musées Nationeaux, Paris, 1999

Burton, Decimus

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 05 Apr 2022