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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)

Study of hands for the portrait of Amy Gaskell

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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. (1833-1898) Study of hands for the portrait of Amy Gaskell black and white chalk, on sanguine paper 10 7/8 x 8 1/8 in. (27.7 x 20.7 cm.)
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Lot Essay

Burne-Jones's portrait of Amy Gaskell is dated 1893 and was exhibited at the New Gallery, London, the following year. It was highly praised by the French critic Robert de la Sizeranne in his book on contemporary English painting (1895), and is indeed a superb example of Symbolist portraiture, evoking comparison with examples by Whistler, Fernand Khnopff and others.

Amy Gaskell's mother, Helen Mary (May) Gaskell (1853-1940), enjoyed an intense but seemingly platonic relationship with Burne-Jones in the 1890s. Their amitié amoureuse was the subject of Josceline Dimbleby's book A Profound Secret, published in 2004.

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