The six Holy Grail or San Graal tapestries were commissioned by William Knox D’Arcy in 1890 for his dining room at Stanmore Hall, Middlesex. Depicting episodes from Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, the panels were executed between 1891 and 1894 at Merton Abbey Mills. Burne-Jones was responsible for the overall design of the scheme and he made extensive studies for the works, such as the present drawing, which depicts the figures of two of the angels watching over the Holy Grail. The Achievement of Sir Galahad accompanied by Sir Bors and Sir Perceval (fig. 1) was the first of the series to be completed, and was shown at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1893. A full compositional cartoon is at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, as are later versions of the six tapestry panels.
We are grateful to John Christian for his help in preparing this catalogue entry in January 2016.