sir-edward-burne-jones

Flora by Sir Edward Burne Jones and William Morris, circa 1885.  The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England. 

The quotation by William Morris reads:

I am the handmaid of the earth,
I broider fair her glorious gown,
And deck her on her days of mirth
With many a garland of renown.

And while Earth’s little ones are fain
And play about the Mother’s hem
I scatter every gift I gain
From sun and wind to gladden them.

Large (OASC)

The Metropolitan Museum encapsulates Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ The Love Song (1868–1877) beautifully: “Drawing inspiration from the gothicizing Pre-Raphaelite movement, the artist conjured a twilight scene with a richly romantic, medieval air, enhanced by allusions to Italian Renaissance art, from the warm, dewy colors to the gracious figures and original frame, which recalls sixteenth-and-seventeenth-century Venetian designs.”

A woman in a shimmering silver dress plays a tiny chamber organ, while an androgynous angel pumps the bellows. A man in dark armor, red cloth billowing from his elbows to rhyme with the angel’s loose garment, watches on.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ painting, “Garden of the Hesperides’. Burne-Jones epitomized later phased Pre-Raphaelite art. In Greek mythology, Hesperides were the goddesses of the evening  and golden light of sunset. The three nymphs were entrusted to guard the tree of golden apples which was given to the goddess Hera when she married Zeus by Gaia (Earth). As Hesperides ate many apples from the tree, Hera didn’t trust them. Therefore she sent a dragon named Landon to guard the tree which is seen coiling around the tree.

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