Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cophetua and the Beggar Maid by Sir E Burne-Jones

Burne Jones paintings at the time he was working were not the usual style that would look fine decorating a drawing room and he found the thought of his work being displayed at the Royal Academy as hopelessly uncongenial.
His style was described as mystic and medieval spirit of symbolic decoration. He said, 'its a pity he was not born in the middle ages, people then would of known what to do with me'. He was referring particularly to the practical work of church decoration such as designing stained glass windows.
The painting was a result of years of thought and as early as 1862 he was working on a different version of the subject showing the king in red robes descending a white marble stairs. The idea lay fallow and in 1880 he began working on this painting and it was four years later before it was first exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery.

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