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

A Study of Olive Maxse for one of the mourning Queens in 'The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon'

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)
A Study of Olive Maxse for one of the mourning Queens in 'The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon'
signed with initials, inscribed and dated 'EBJ 1896/AVALON' (lower left)
pencil on paper
13 x 9 1/8 in. (33 x 23.2 cm.)
Major C.S. Goldman and by descent to his son.
John Monck; Christie's, London, 16 November 1965, lot 16, one of three in the lot (110 gns to Faerber and Maison).
with Faerber and Maison, London.
with Christopher Wood, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 26 October 1982, lot 72.
Christopher Wood, Burne-Jones, London, 1998, p. 126.
Vienna, Galleries of the Succession, Exhibition of British Art, 1927, number untraced.

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Lot Essay

One of the four children of Frederick Augustus Maxse (1833-1900), a naval officer and radical, Olive Maxse served as Burne-Jones' model in the 1890s and they were also keen correspondents. His admiration for Maxse was demonstrated when she mentioned to him that a number of her fellow students at the Académie Julian in Paris had suggested that her features resembled those of a Burne-Jones model. He replied: 'Those students at Julian's conceived a high ideal of me if they think they are at all like any heads I paint - I hope it's a little true - for I think you beautiful - and an old artist may tell a young girl that without hurt or blame - and when you come back I shall claim my privilege of drawing from you' (M. Harrison and B. Waters, Burne-Jones, London, 1973, p. 161).

There are two similar portrait studies to the present drawing, although the sitter is unconfirmed in both, the first (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) dated to 1895 and inscribed by the artist as being for The Sirens (Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida. The second is dated 1896 and was sold in these Rooms, 4 June 2009, lot 25.

Major C.S. Goldman, a keen collector of Pre-Raphaelite pictures, owned among other things, Burne-Jones's, The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon (Museo de Arte, Ponce, Puerto Rico), as well as a number of works by D.G. Rossetti. Goldman's pictures were divided between his sons, John Monck and Commander Penryn Monck, and most of them seem to have been dispersed in the 1960s and 1970s.

For another study relating to 'The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon' and a note on the painting, see lot 24.

We are grateful to John Christian for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.

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