Edward Burne-Jones is widely regarded as one of the great British artists, and the only Pre-Raphaelite to achieve world-wide recognition through the elusive mythic language he developed across a range of media.
Accompanying a major exhibition of Burne-Jones's work at Tate Britain, this beautifully-designed book looks at what was distinctive about Burne-Jones's art, and charts the course through which he emerged from being an outsider, to being revered as one of the great artists of the European fin de siecle. It shows how he maintained his vision through meticulous attention to craftsmanship and the repetition of key motifs. It examines the extraordinary combination of flattening and illusionistic effects in Burne-Jones's work, the artist's preoccupation with romance and horror, and the emphasis he placed on the potential of physical and symbolic objects within an image to simultaneously unlock and obfuscate meaning. Illustrated works show how Burne-Jones's highly subjective approach to storytelling resulted in a paradoxical combination of seriality and stasis, making the image unsettling in narrative and emotional terms. The essentially hermetic aspect of Burne-Jones' art will be used to foreground the challenge it presented to contemporary social and cultural values both within Britain and beyond.
Large scale works made famous through public exhibition will foreground the impact Burne- Jones made on the continent, influencing the direction of pan-European Symbolism. Three essays examine Burne-Jones as an intellectual (his influences), as an artist (his techniques), and his legacy. Six section introductions, following the structure of the exbition, look at in turn The Making of an Artist, Draughtmanship and Design, Burne-Jones' Public Exhibitions, Portraiture, Series Paintings, Art for the People. With contributions by Elizabeth Prettejohn, Jason Rosenfeld, Colin Cruise, Charlotte Gere and Suzanne Fagence Cooper.
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