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PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S.
STUDY OF A FEMALE HEAD IN THE GARDEN COURT
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32

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S.
STUDY OF A FEMALE HEAD IN THE GARDEN COURT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

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London

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S.
1833-1898
STUDY OF A FEMALE HEAD IN THE GARDEN COURT
signed with initials and dated l.l.; EBJ/1888.
black chalk and pencil
30 by 20cm., 11¾ by 7¾in.
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Provenance

Probably, Christie's, 16-18 July 1898, 'Remaining works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart., deceased', lot 147;
Mr and Mrs John Hay Whitney, their sale Sotheby's, New York, 18 May 2004, lot 93;
Maas Gallery, London where purchased by the present owner

Literature

T. Martin Wood, Drawings of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1907, illustrated plate 1.

Catalogue Note

This study is for the head of the girl at the centre of The Garden Court, the third painting in the celebrated Briar Rose series (Buscot Park, Oxfordshire) depicting Charles Perrault's romance of the Sleeping Beauty. The Garden Court depicts  the palace servant girls who have fallen into an enchanted sleep while going about their daily chores at a well and loom. William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones' lifelong friend, composed a verse for each scene and for The Garden Court he wrote: 'The maiden pleasance of the land, Knoweth no stir of voice or hand, No cup the sleeping waters fill, The restless shuttle lieth still.'

The first set of pictures depicting Perrault's story were painted for the patron William Graham between 1871 and 1873 (Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico) but did not include the scene depicting the servant-girls. It was not until the larger set of pictures were begun, probably in 1874, that Burne-Jones conceived the fourth picture as part of the series which was bought by the financier Alexander Henderson and installed in the saloon at his country estate of Buscot Park.

With a penchant for platonic but intense friendships with younger, beautiful women, Burne-Jones often included the likenesses of these muses into his most significant work.  The model for the present study and a variant drawing (formerly with Julian Hartnoll) was drawn from another sitter from the fashionable society around Burne-Jones, Miss Ethel Burdet-Burgess (later Mrs Allen, Professor at Madras University).

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

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London