Sir Edward Burne-Jones Gallery of Free Bible Art Works In High Resolution Images. Art and Artist study of his biblical paintings.
High Resolution Bible Art
Angel Playing a Flageolet 1878
|"Days Of Creation"|
Burne-Jones "Days of Creation" consisting of six panels, was originally designed for a church window. Six angels are depicted, symbolizing the six days of creation. Each angel is crowned with a plume of fire, and each bears a crystal globe reflecting an act of creation, from the ordering of chaos in the first, where a light globe and a dark globe are taking definite shapes amid mysterious light and darkness, to the newly created man and woman in the sixth.
The graduating colors in these panels which give the key to the motive are most ingeniously manipulated. In the first it is that of a cold gray-green dawn, and the note is successively and felicitously changed to harmonize with the day portrayed.
Sadly, "The Fourth Day" in the series was stolen from the dining room in Dunster House at Harvard University in 1970 where the entire series was on loan from the Fogg Art Museum, and was never recovered.
Edward Burne-Jones 1833 – 1898
Until Edward Burne-Jones was twenty-three years old he never saw a good picture. It was in that year that he began to study the rudiments of drawing. Yet a year or two later no less an artist and critic than Dante Gabriel Rossetti declared that Burne-Jones' designs were equal to Albrecht Durer's finest work; and today he is regarded as "perhaps the most perfect of English painters."
As his name indicates, Burne-Jones was of Welsh descent. His mother died at his birth, and his only sister in early infancy. His father, a small tradesman who made picture-frames and sold stationery in Birmingham, England, was ambitious for his son to be a clergyman, and managed to give him a superior education. At nineteen the youth won a scholarship and went up to Oxford. There he met another freshman of Welsh birth, William Morris, and the face of things suddenly changed. Their dreams and aspirations tallied in that their deep-rooted sense of the ugliness and monotony of the present and their common love of the past drew the young undergraduates together and laid the foundation of a life-long friendship.
In 1856 we hear of Burne-Jones and Morris sharing lodgings in London, devoting themselves respectively to painting and poetry. Recognition came early to both of them, and six years later Burne-Jones painted his now famous little picture of "Christ and the Merciful Knight", which "stamped its author at once as a master of original genius, whose style was entirely distinct from that of Rossetti, as well as absolutely unlike that of any contemporary artist."
Adoration of the Kings, 1887
He and Morris were for many years co-partners in the celebrated firm of Morris and Company, and to their joint efforts the complete revolution which took place in decorative art, and drove Victorian stuffiness from our houses, is to be ascribed.
The Annunciation 1876
It was for the Kelmscott Press, founded by Morris, that Burne-Jones made eighty-seven illustrations for an edition of Chaucer, and for a long period he was a designer of mosaics and designed tapestries. It is probable that his influence has been far less in painting than in the broad fields of decorative design. His cartoons for stained glass, and windows from his designs are to be found throughout England and occasionally in America. In fact, his romantic imagination dominated every branch of his art, and his energy needed to be inexhaustible to keep pace with his constant procession of ideas.
Burne-Jones was made an associate of the Royal Academy in 1883, and acknowledged the compliment by sending his oil painting, "The Depths of the Sea", to the yearly exhibition. In this he pictured a mermaid carrying down with her a youth whom she has unconsciously drowned in the impetuosity of her love. Its tragic irony of conception and beauty of technique give it a high place among his works, his own conception of which is stated in a letter to a friend, "I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be, in a light better than any light that ever shone, in a land no one can define or remember, only desire."
No artist was ever truer to his own ideals, for his men and women, earth, sky, rocks and trees are not of this world, but make a world of their own consistent with itself, therefore having its own reality. He was engaged on his picture of "The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon" until a few hours before his death, on June 17, 1898.
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