SIR EDWARD COLEY BURNE-JONES, BT., A.R.A., R.W.S.
STUDY FOR THE HEAD OF PERSEUS IN THE DEATH OF MEDUSA
signed with initials and dated l.r.: E/BJ/ 1875; titled l.l.; PERSEUS/ study for the/ fifth picture
23 by 18cm., 9 by 7in.
The paper is flat in the mount and there are no visible tears or holes. The paper may be very slightly discoloured but it is not distracting. The paper is not laid down
The picture is contained in a simple wooden frame with a clean mount and under glass - please contact the department for photographs.
"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."
H.S. Theobald Esq. by 1899;
Probably purchased in 1904 by prominent art collectors in Wales and thence by family descent
London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Drawings and Studies by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart., 1899, part of no.61 (no.2)
The Death of Medusa is one of the most successful scenes of the 'Perseus Series.' It depicts Perseus fleeing from the island of Sarpedon with the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa, whilst her two immortal sisters, Euryale and Stheno, rise up on huge wings to try to prevent his escape. It is a nightmarish vision but beautifully designed and forcefully studied. Although a finished painting did not materialise, there are two large cartoons (Southampton City Art Gallery and Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart). This powerful study is typical of the meticulous preparatory work for the Perseus Series and demonstrates Burne-Jones' admiration and emulation of the draughtsmanship of Michelangelo in the 1870s.