Edward Burne-Jones, St George fighting the Dragon, a pencil drawing

England, around AD 1865

A study from a narrative series

This carefully-finished drawing was formerly in the collection of the Victorian artist and President of the Royal Academy, Sir Edward Poynter. It is one of a number of such studies for a series of seven paintings illustrating the legend of St George, the patron saint of England. The series was commissioned to decorate the house in Surrey of another artist, Miles Birkett Foster, at Witley in Surrey, but has now been dispersed - the painting to which this drawing relates is now in the Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Others are in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, the Forbes Collection, New York, and the Bristol Art Gallery.

The precisely-observed but crisply stylised treatment of the foreground foliage and the background trees show the influence of Rossetti and the painters of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Such highly-worked preparatory drawings were useful to Burne-Jones, who often employed assistants to help him on larger schemes. The dragon is derived from a sixteenth-century German woodcut that Burne-Jones had probably copied in the Department of Prints and Drawings in The British Museum.

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More information

Bibliography

S. Wildman and J. Christian, Edward Burne-Jones, Victorian (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1998)

J.A Gere, Pre-Raphaelite drawings in the (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

Dimensions

Height: 351.000 mm
Width: 416.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1954-5-8-13

PDB15476

Bequeathed by Cecil French

Location

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