Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

   Edward Coley Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham, England in 1833. In his youth, he showed little inclination towards the arts. He went off to Oxford to study theology where he met William Morris who was to become his lifelong friend.
   After attending an exhibition of work by Rossetti, Burne-Jones resolved to become a painter. He worked at this new desire while he continued his studies for two years until he finally met Rossetti in person. Burne-Jones became Rossetti's pupil in 1855. Under his tutelage, Burne-Jones gained respect as an artist and later a master in the art of stained glass windows. Because of this relationship, many of Burne-Jones's early paintings exhibit Rossetti-like qualities.
   He traveled to Italy in 1859 and 1862, where he began to develop his own style. As well as paintings, he produced numerous decorative works for the William Morris Company - book illustrations, tapestries, and stained-glass windows.
   He became ARA in 1885 only to resign some years later after exhibiting only one picture at the Academy. This seems strange considering that his output was prodigious - 200 oil paintings during his lifetime and over 1000 pieces for stained glass alone. His honours include Corresponding Member of the Institute of France. He was created a baronet in 1894.
   Burne-Jones's favorite subjects were graceful girls, angels, gods and heroes. Most of the works exhibit a high degree of languor, a sleepy almost dream-like quality that gives his works an unearthly touch. He had a habit of returning to unfinished works often after many years making it more difficult to define changes in his style.

View some of his Art in the Arthurian Artists' Subarea