Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION (lots 1-3)The following three sketches appear to be preliminary studies for the attendants in The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon, 1881-1898 (Museum de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, fig. 1). This monumental oil, the largest Burne-Jones ever conceived, was originally commissioned by his friend and patron, George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle, for his library at Naworth Castle. However, the subject consumed him to such an extent that he requested that his friend surrender the commission to allow him to continue to work on the piece for himself. Burne-Jones returned to the painting periodically over the next two decades, up until his death in June 1898, when it still remained not quite complete. As Peter Nahum noted, the sheer volume of drawings and studies ‘bear witness to the importance Burne-Jones gave to Avalon, as do the numerous compositional oil studies and sketches' (P. Nahum, Edward Burne-Jones: The Earthly Paradise, Stuttgart, 2009, p. 195). Both lots 2 and 3 appear to be studies for the character on the far left of the composition, who turns his back to the viewer, resting his hand upon a wall. Lot 1 doesn’t correspond closely to any of the figures in the painting, suggesting that the artist was still contemplating compositional revisions at a comparatively late stage.
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)

Study of a draped female figure for 'The Sleep of Arthur in Avalon'

Details
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898)
Study of a draped female figure for 'The Sleep of Arthur in Avalon'
black, white and sanguine chalk on terracotta paper
17 ¾ x 10 ¾ in. (45 x 27.3 cm.)
Provenance
Major C.S. Goldman, and by descent to his sons
John Monck, and Commander Penryn Monck.
with Agnew's, London, where purchased for the present collection.
Exhibited
King's Lynn, Fermoy Art Gallery, The Pre-Raphaelites as Painters and Draughtsmen, 24 July - 8 August 1971, no. 11.

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