Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Edward Burne-Jones - The Mill
Oil on canvas
35.83 × 77.56 in
Victoria and Albert Museum
The dancers were modelled by (left to right) Maria Zambaco, Marie Spartali Stillman and Aglaia Coronio.
Begun in 1870 and completed in 1882, Burne-Jones's painting The Mill depicts the three Graces dancing to the music of Apollo. The models were friends and relatives of Constantine Ionides, who commissioned the painting. His cousin Mary Zambaco, who posed for the woman on the far left, was Burne-Jones's lover.
The Mill displays what Ruskin termed 'the subtlest mythologies of Greek worship and Christian Romance', as well as acquaintance with Giorgione's poetic scenes and Botticelli's Primavera. 13. In 1891 Burne-Jones met the young Aubrey Beardsley, and encouraged him to pursue an artistic career
The painting belonged to Aglaia's brother Constantine and is now part of the Ionides collection at the V&A.