Mrs Charles Bland Radcliffe, London; Sotheby’s, Belgravia, 23 June 1971, lot 154; Julian Hartnoll, London; Sotheby’s, Belgravia, 18 April 1978, lot 51, where purchased by Seymour Stein
Sheffield City Art Gallery, Burne-Jones, 1971, no.192
The composition derives from one of Burne-Jones’ seventy illustrations for William Morris’ Earthly Paradise, narrating the story of Cupid and Psyche. The style of the picture suggests that it was painted in the late 1860s as Burne-Jones transitioned from the Medievalism of his earlier watercolours to the more Aesthetic style of his oils. It is an unusually classical and sculptural rendering of the mother of Cupid, newly-born on the shore in the pose of the Venus Anadyomone, loosening her long tresses of golden hair. For a romantic like Burne-Jones, the Goddess of Love was a figure who loomed large in his imagination and was the subject of one of his greatest works The Mirror of Venus of 1873-77 (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon). Venus Rising from the Sea belonged to Burne-Jones’ physician, friend and patron Charles Bland Radcliffe (1822-1889) who also owned The Mother of Healing of 1862 and The Annunciation – The Flower of God of 1869.
The picture is on paper laid onto canvas (probably by the artist) which is providing a stable structural support. There are no signs of craquelure. The paint surface appears to be clean and stable and the picture is ready to hang.
UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
There are no signs of restoration.
The picture is held in a simple gilt frame (probably the original) 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."