King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (1884). Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (British, 1833-1898). Oil paint on canvas. Tate.
The African king Cophetua sits at the feet of a beggar woman. He had disdained women until he met her and fell in love at first sight, vowing to make her his queen. This is the moment when love transcends class and reason. Burne-Jones was partly inspired by Alfred Tennyson’s poem The Beggar Maid. He also believed in the transforming power of the act of looking and thought of the eyes as windows of the soul.
Sir Edward Burne-Jones “Palace Green Murals of Cupid and Psyche - Cupid Flying away from Psyche” 1872-81 by Plum leaves Via Flickr: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones,(1833–1898) British Pre-Raphaelite artist and designer.
Oil on canvas
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK
From the series of twelve panels, based on ‘The Story of Cupid and Psyche’ from William Morris’s epic poem, 'The Earthly Paradise’, commissioned by the 9th Earl of Carlisle for his newly-built home in No 1 Palace Green, Kensington.