Friday, June 25, 2010

Edward Burne-Jones - Luna

Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 12,000 GBP
coloured pastel heightened with silver and white
23 by 17 cm., 9 1/4 by 6 3/4 in.

Allegorical representations of the moon goddess by Burne-Jones date from the mid-1860s onwards. Perhaps the first image of this type was the design he made showing Luna standing in a crescent moon and holding a ship for the Green Dining Room, which was created by Philip Webb and Morris & Co at the
South Kensington Museum. Later Burne-Jones used the image in designs for stained glass and tiles, and in the mid-1870s he painted an oil version of the subject which appeared at the 1878 Grosvenor Gallery exhibition and belonged to the Ionides family.

This watercolour, with its soft and suffused technique and carefully reduced range of colour, must come from late in the artist's career - perhaps from the1890s. Complete in itself and intended for display, it is highly personal meditation on a theme close to Burne-Jones's heart.

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