Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sir Edward Burne - Jones

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898)
was a British
artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement,

who worked closely with
William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company.

Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of
stained glass art in England.


The Golden Stairs, 1880

Burne-Jones's paintings were one strand in the evolving tapestry of Aestheticism from the 1860s through the 1880s, which considered that art should be valued as an object of beauty engendering a sensual response, rather than for the story or moral implicit in the subject matter. In many ways this was antithetical to the ideals of Ruskin and the early Pre-Raphaelites.

Burne-Jones's aim in art is best given in some of his own words, written to a friend:

I mean by a picture a beautiful, romantic dream of something that never was, never will be - in a light better than any light that ever shone - in a land no one can define or remember, only desire - and the forms divinely beautiful - and then I wake up, with the waking of Brynhild.

No artist was ever more true to his aim. Ideals resolutely pursued are apt to provoke the resentment of the world, and Burne-Jones encountered, endured and conquered an extraordinary amount of angry criticism.

In so far as this was directed against the lack of realism in his pictures, it was beside the point. The earth, the sky, the rocks, the trees, the men and women of Burne-Jones are not those of this world; but they are themselves a world, consistent with itself, and having therefore its own reality. Charged with the beauty and with the strangeness of dreams,
it has nothing of a dream's incoherence.

Yet it is a dreamer always whose nature penetrates these works, a nature out of sympathy with struggle and strenuous action. Burne-Jones's men and women are dreamers too. It was this which, more than anything else, estranged him from the age into which he was born.

Burne-Jones exerted a considerable influence on British painting.
Burne-Jones was also highly influential among French symbolist painters, from 1889.
His work inspired poetry by Swinburne

Swinburne's 1886 Poems & Ballads is dedicated to Burne-Jones.

On 16 June 1933, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, a nephew of Burne-Jones, officially opened the centenary exhibition featuring Burne-Jones's drawings and paintings at the Tate Gallery in London.
In his opening speech at the exhibition, Mr Baldwin expressed what the art of Burne-Jones stood for:

In my view, what he did for us common people was to open, as never had been opened before, magic casements of a land of faery in which he lived throughout his life ...
It is in that inner world we can cherish in peace, beauty which he has left us and in which there is peace at least for ourselves.

The few of us who knew him and loved him well, always keep him in our hearts, but his work will go on long after we have passed away.

It may give its message in one generation to a few or in other to many more, but there it will be for ever for those who seek in their generation, for beauty and for those who can recognise and reverence a great man, and a great artist.

Victorian Art & Design

Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882

D.G. Rossetti was born in London, England and originally named
Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti
His family and friends called him "Gabriel"

English poet, illustrator, painter and translator.
He was one of the founders of the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 and was later to be the main inspiration for second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement.
He was also a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Aesthetic Movement is a 19th century European movement that emphasized aesthetic values over moral or social themes in literature, fine art,
the decorative arts, and interior design.)

Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism.
His early poetry was influenced by
His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling.

Rossetti was very upset by the attacks on the Pre-Raphaelite paintings in 1850 and 1851.
He decided not to exhibit again.

Rossetti's sonnet sequence The House of Life, a complex series of poems tracing the physical and spiritual development of an intimate relationship.
Rossetti described the sonnet form as a "moment's monument", implying that it sought to contain the feelings of a fleeting moment, and to reflect upon their meaning.
In 1881, Rossetti published a second volume of poems,
Ballads and Sonnets, which included the remaining sonnets from the The House of Life sequence.

love & light
Trace x