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Edward Burne-Jones at Tate Britain

02 November 2018

Laus Veneris, 1873-8. Oil paint on canvas. Laing Art Gallery (Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums).

A major exhibition dedicated to the work of Edward Burne-Jones (1852) has opened at Tate Britain.

Edward Burne-Jones: Pre-Raphaelite Visionary is the largest retrospective of the artist’s work to be held in the UK for a generation, and charts Burne-Jones’s rise from an outsider with little formal art training to one of the most influential British artists of the late 19th century. The exhibition brings together over 150 works from across Burne-Jones’s four-decade career, including paintings, stained glass and tapestries. 

Two rooms are dedicated to the artist’s most famous narrative cycles, The Briar Rose and the unfinished Perseus series, which are shown together for the first time. The huge canvases are amongst his best-loved works, telling the dreamlike fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and the action-packed classical myth of Perseus.

Burne-Jones’s work as a church decorator during his early career is highlighted, with striking examples of his stained glass such as The Good Shepherd 1857-61 and The Adoration of the Magi 1861. Most Old Edwardians will have viewed his stained-glass windows in Birmingham Cathedral.

Exploring the key role of the decorative arts in Burne-Jones’s career, including his long working relationship with William Morris, the Graham Piano 1879-80 is displayed alongside embroideries, illustrated books and spectacular large-scale tapestries.

Edward Burne-Jones: Pre-Raphaelite Visionary opened at Tate Britain, London on 24 October 2018 and will run until 24 February 2019. Visit the Tate website.