Friday, February 5, 2010

Edward Burne-Jones - Cabinet

[Cabinet decorated with scenes from The Prioress's Tale]
oak and deal, painted in oils
inscribed EBJ to WM, inscibed with texts from Chaucer

Given as a wedding present to Morris by Burne-Jones and at first placed in the bedroom at the Red House but went to London with the Morrises in 1865. Painted presumably in 1858-9 with Jane Burden as the model.
Often considered an odd subject for a wedding present.


Hels said...

The fact that it was a wedding present is particularly telling. In general their marriages were not 100% constant and reliable:

Effie Ruskin left her first husband John Ruskin and married John Everett Millais in 1855. In 1859 William Morris married Jane Burden and in 1860, Edward Burne-Jones married Georgiana Macdonald. The Burne-Joneses were regular guests of William and Jane Morris at Red House, Bexley, which Burne-Jones helped to decorate. Morris' wife Jane had a long affair with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, starting in 1865, and William was himself involved in some sort of an affair with Georgiana Burne-Jones. In the late 1860s, Burne-Jones had an affair with his art model.

It must have seemed like Musical Beds for a decade.

Hermes said...

Its one of the things that makes them so interesting, but as the book of Desparate Romantics points out they may have been lovers iin the medieval sense rather than lovers in bed which seems strange to us now (or me anyway) but certainly seems to be true of say Rossetti and Jane.