hildegardavon: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, …


Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1833-1898


  • Orfeus and Eurydice reunited
  • Eurydice bitten by a serpent
  • Orpheus pursued by Furies
  • Orpheus and his lute

n/d, watercolour with bodycolour, circular, each 21 cm

Private Collection 

Note: According to Burne-Jones’ account books, these drawings were made in 1872, seven years before Burne-Jones designed the circular roundels for the exterior of a famous piano made for his most loyal patron William Graham. Burne-Jones chose a suitably musical subject for the imagery, depicting the story of the musician Orpheus who ventured to the Underworld to plead with Pluto and Proserpine for life to be restored to his wife Eurydice who had been killed by a snake-bite. There are a set of ten pencil designs for the piano panels at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Of the earlier gouache designs, there are examples at Tate and in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and two more are known depicting Orpheus losing Eurydice and Orpheus encountering Sisyphus (Christie’s).