Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)   
In his essay 'The decay of lying' (1891), Oscar Wilde credits Rossetti and Burne-Jones with the creation of a certain style of female beauty: indeed, Punch cartoons of the time guy up these Venus-ringed beauties, who seemed to have come from nowhere.
   But if Rossetti invented a 'look', Burne-Jones curbed its excesses, and then -- in works of vastly increased scope and scale -- went on to create an equally stylized world for his creations to inhabit. Sustaining this ideal over many years, and largely suppressing individuality in his figures, Burne-Jones' paintings may be seen as primarily decorative: the painter was, of course, a close friend of Morris, and completed many designs for fabrics and stained-glass.
   But stylization also gave Burne-Jones the opportunity to express ideas in his paintings without distraction. He explains this in a letter which has often been quoted: "I mean by a picture a beautiful, romantic dream of something that never was, never will be -- in a light better than any lights that ever shone -- in a land no one can define or remember, only desire -- and the forms divinely beautiful -- and then I wake up, with the waking of Brynhild". And thus he may be given a good share of credit for the Symbolist movement that flourished in his wake, from the 1880s until the First World War.
      Works by Burne-Jones at
The Ashmolean Museum
Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Buscot Park
Hugh Lane Art Gallery
The Lady Lever Art Gallery
The Laing Art Gallery
Leighton House
Manchester City Art Galleries
Southampton City Art Gallery
The Tate Gallery
Torre Abbey Historic House and Gallery
Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Walker Art Gallery
Wallington Hall

Complete list of pictures

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