SIR EDWARD COLEY BURNE-JONES, BT., A.R.A., R.W.S. | Head of a Young Man
Property of a Descendant of George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle
SIR EDWARD COLEY BURNE-JONES, BT., A.R.A., R.W.S.
Head of a Young Man
coloured chalk with watercolour
25 by 30cm., 10 by 12in.
The sheet is flat in the mount. There are a few faint foxing marks and time staining in the lower right corner and a little blooming on the mouth of the boy.
The picture is contained in a simple wooden and gilt frame with a clean mount and under glass.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Given by the artist to George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle and thence by descent
This striking head study appears to relate to Burne-Jones’ watercolour of 1870-3, Love Among the Ruins (Christie’s, London, 11 July 2013, lot 3), which also exists in a large oil version of 1894 (Bearstead Collection, on long-term loan to the National Trust at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton). The model was probably Alessandro di Marco, a former organ-grinder from Piedmont in Italy who became Burne-Jones’ favourite male model and appears in several important works by the artist. He first modelled for Frederic Leighton as a small child in Rome in 1853 for Cimabue's Madonna (Royal Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, London) and seems to have made his way to the ateliers of Paris. William Blake Richmond described him as; '... a man who seemed to stride out from Signorelli's grand frescoes... a fellow so graceful and of such a colour, a kind of bronze gold, having a skin of so fine a texture that the movement of every muscle was not disguised, not a film of fat disfigured his shapely limbs. Only a peasant, people say! Yes--but of a race of Kings--so noble he looked.' (Simon Reynolds, William Blake Richmond, p.45)
This watercolour belonged to George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle, a close friend and patron of Burne-Jones and a talented amateur watercolour painter. He was a passionate collector of Burne-Jones’ work and lent six pictures to the memorial show at the Royal Academy in 1898, including Dies Domini, Fatima, St. Dorothea and The Annunciation.