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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)
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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)

Georgiana Burne-Jones at the piano

Details
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)
Georgiana Burne-Jones at the piano
with inscription 'G B-J by E B-J' (on an old label attached to the backboard)
pencil
3¾ x 3 7/8 in. (9.5 x 9.8 cm.)
Provenance
By descent from the sitter, via her daughter, Margaret Mackail, her grand-daughter, Angela Thirkell, and her great-grandson, Colin McInnes. Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 7 June 1996, lot 555.
Literature
J. Flanders, A Circle of Sisters, London, 2002, pl. 7.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

This appealing little drawing is similar to one reproduced in Lady Burne-Jones's Memorials of her husband (1904, vol. 1, p. 218). Both were made early in her marriage, which took place on 9 June 1860, the Memorials sketch being executed, as she records, 'on the back of my first account-book'. Born in 1840, Georgie (as she was always known) was the daughter of George Macdonald, a Methodist minister, and one of a remarkable galaxy of sisters who were to unite the families of Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin. Small in stature but a powerful personality, she was likened by Charles Eliot Norton to 'a Stothard Grace strayed from the pages of Milton's Allegro or Roger's Italy into real life, - as slight and small a lady as Stothard ever drew, and yet with a latent depth and strength of character that would suffice to inspire one of Titian's women'.

Georgie was a talented muscian, playing the piano well and possessing a good singing voice, with which she would render the early songs and border ballards so popular in her circle at this date. The piano she plays in our drawing is reminiscent of the small upright, made by Priestly of Berners Street in unpolished American walnut, which was given to her as a wedding present and decorated by Burne-Jones. The instrument is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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