- Museum number
'The Secret Book of Designs', album bound in red leather with a banded spine, gilt ruling and gold tooling on the inside covers, and on the front "EB[in monogram]-J/1885", containing 220 drawings (several across an opening) and/or inscribed text on the recto, verso or both sides of sheets inlaid into 177 album leaves; also 4 blank album leaves and fixed endpapers; including portrait sketches, designs for mosaics and tapestries, decorative panels, and representations of knights, damsels, angels, sea-nymphs, seraphs, a mermaid, the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Babe of Bethlehem, the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion, St Michael, St Francis receiving the Stigmata, the Fall of Lucifer, The Last Trump, Adam and Eve, Paolo and Francesca, Andromeda, Charon, Diana and Endymion, Selene and Endymion, Ixion, Sisyphus and Tantalus, the Tree of Forgiveness, the Song of Solomon, plants, birds, dreams, sketches for part of the Briar-Rose series, shields of the Knights of the Round Table, the Chapel of the San Graal, the Temple of the Winds, landscapes, battle and portrait studies (full description of each folio below, taken from the departmental register).
Most drawings are in black chalk (assumed in description below, unless stated otherwise), some are in graphite (‘pencil’ in register description below, but needs to be checked); others variously in combinations of purple, brown, blue, orange-brown, scarlet and/or green chalk; coloured chalks; brush drawing in blue and orange ink; black chalk and watercolour
The registration number for the whole album is 1899,0713.322-544: each image is stamped with a separate, consecutive registration number, as below, irrespective of whether on recto and verso of the album page
1899,0713.322. Study for a portrait of a girl.
323. Design for a battle.
324. Finished pencil drawing for a woman drawing back a curtain.
325. The temple of the winds. Finished pencil drawing
326. The huntress Diana.
327. A woman on a fiery car drawn by serpents.
328. A woman standing by a tree within a house.
329. A woman looking down over a barrier.
330. The Virgin and Child.
331. A woman kneeling on a rock and gazing at the sea.
332. Three Knights
333. Three damsels
334. Sketch of a fortified town and a landscape composition.
335. A knight and lady in a leafless wood and a landscape composition.
336. A tower among rocks; a composition.
337. Three static figures, one an angel; the last touched with watercolour.
338. Eve and her children outside the gates of Paradise.
339. Sea and rocks; a composition.
340. A mermaid; touched with watercolour.
341. A woman looking from a window in a house by the sea.
342. A knight riding out through a gate.
343. A woman walking and reading.
344. A woman standing by a window.
345. A man standing by a wall and gazing before him.
346. A woman standing among rocks; a boat in the distance.
347. Two girls holding a pigeon with a letter tied to his neck.
348. Two separate studies of single figures.
349. Two studies of rocks.
350. Design for a picture; leady seating and knight reclining; landscape.
351. A knight carrying a lady on his horse.
352. Four sea-maidens and gulls.
353. A composition; rocks, trees and water.
354. Landscape composition.
355. Landscape composition.
356. Study of a nude figure with a shield.
357. Sketch of two nude figures standing.
358. Andromeda; sketch
359 and 360. Three knights and a man on foot with a spear.
361. Women dancing in a garden.
362. Two figures standing in an arbour.
363. A figure standing among flames on a stair.
364. Portrait sketch of a girl, half length.
365. A woman carried by dark winged forms.
366. Paolo and Francesca
367. A woman floating in the air, borne by doves.
368. A woman turning the pages of a book; a boy drawing back a curtain.
369. An enchantress culling herbs.
370. A woman gazing in a crystal ball.
371 and 372. Dreams
373 and 374. A line of women holding one another by the hand.
375. A page of manuscript in ink, headed ‘Designs for Mosaics’ in pencil.
376 and 377. The good shepherd in the fold; wolfs seeking to enter.
378. An angel standing in a doorway.
379. Adam and Eve mourning for Abel; two compositions.
380. Sketch for mosaic decoration.
381. The last Trump. Part of the last sketch elaborated.
382. Sea-nymphs hovering between two waves.
383. Maidens running, hand in hand. With blue chalk.
384. A knight speaking to a damsel behind the bars of a prison.
385. Three figures, half length.
386. Charon. Dark yellow chalk.
387. Ixion and Sisyphus. Blue Chalk.
388. Ixion, Sisyphus and Tantalus.
389. Women moving through a hilly landscape.
390. A woman sitting on the branches of a tree.
391. Sketch of two figures embracing.
392. A figure reclining under a tree.
393. Diana and Endymion. Blue chalk.
394. The same subject a different composition. Dull red chalk.
395. Sketch of the Fall of Lucifer. Touched with yellow chalk.
396. Adam and Eve toiling after the Expulsion.
397. Decorative design. Adam delving. Bistre.
398 and 399. Adam and Eve outside the walls of Paradise. Watercolour. Studies of plants. Watercolour.
400. The Man of Sorrows. Design for mosaic.
401. The Crucifixion.
402. The Crucifixion, another composition.
403. Sketch for a picture.
404. Sketch for part of the ‘Briar Rose’ series.
405. Trees; decorative design for mosaic.
406. The story of Adam and Eve; two different designs for mosaics.
407. Blank page.
408. The Annunciation; design for mosaic.
409. The Expulsion from Paradise; design for mosaic.
410. The same subject, the composition varied.
411. The Annunciation; varied from 408.
412. Scheme for mosaic decoration, with angels.
413. Decoration from St. Bernard, written in capitals in pencil.
414. The Tree of Forgiveness. Design of mosaic in the American Church, Rome.
415. Blank page.
416. The Tree of Forgiveness. The design varied.
417. The adoration of the Babe of Bethlehem.
418. The Tree of Forgiveness. Another design.
419. A group of angels.
420 and 421. The Tree of Forgiveness. Another design.
422. Ornamental design.
423. St. Michael and the heavenly host; Lucifer and the fallen angels.
424. The Fall of Lucifer.
425. Design for ‘Veni de Libano’, (Song of Solomon).
426. Introductory design to Song of Solomon.
427. Design for ‘Duae est ista’, Song of Solomon.
428. The Angel of the Son Graal.
429. Ego dormio, sed cor meum vigilat. (Song of Solomon).
430. Subject from the Inferno; men chained to the rocks.
431. The Spirit of the Lord on the face of the Waters. With blue chalk.
432. The same subject differently conceived. Blue and violet chalk.
433 and 434. The adoration of the Babe of Bethlehem. Below, the body of Christ lying in the tomb.
435. Slight sketch of 433, below design of peacock on tomb, carried out in gesso at Mells, Frome [Somerset].
436. Foliage and lettering; ‘Vere Dignum’ etc.
437. The Fall of Lucifer, with lettering.
438 and 439. Sketch of part of the ‘Fall of Lucifer’, on a larger scale.
440 and 441. A large composition, with groups of women, clergy and knights.
442. A group of angels standing on a square tower.
443. Design for St. Michael in the ‘Fall of Lucifer’.
444. Large design for part of figure of Lucifer. With blue chalk.
445. Two sketches of the ‘Fall of Lucifer’, coloured chalks.
446. A different composition for the ‘Fall of Lucifer’.
447. St Francis; perhaps a study of the drawing presented to Father Damien.
448. David instructing Solomon concerning the building of the Temple
449. A composition resembling 329, but more finished.
450. Two quotations from the ‘Vulgate’, written in capitals.
451. Angels conducting shepherd and king to the Nativity, with notes of colours. Study for painting in chancel of a church at Torquay [Devon].
452. An angel receiving a soul into Paradise.
453. The Angel of the San Graal. Tapestry of Morris & Co. for Mr. D’Arcy, Stanmore Hall.
454. The Chapel of the San Graal.
455. The San Graal, vision beheld by a knight.
456 and 457. The San Graal, large and small sketch of the same composition.
458. Angels in attendance on the San Graal.
459. Another group of angels.
460. Angels guarding the Chapel of the San Graal.
461. The dream of Lancelot at the ruined Chapel of the San Graal.
462. The angel thrusting open the door: same subject.
463 and 464. A different composition of the same subject.
465. Women seating and angels flying, with instruments of music.
466. (1) Adam and Eve mourning for Abel. (2) Decorative panel.
467 and 468. Angels spreading clouds. (compare 412).
469. The Annunciation, (part) coloured chalks.
470. A Seraph.
471. A Seraph.
472. Women standing and angels flying. (compare 465).
473. Angel addressing Adam and Eve.
474. Two slight sketches of compositions.
475. Two decorative designs for mosaic.
476. A boat with sail full spread.
477. Eve plucking the apple.
478. Angels receiving souls into Paradise. (compare 452), ‘Golden Legend’ woodcut.
479. Adam and Eve in Paradise; angels guarding the wall.
480. Decorative design, women in a flower.
481. Decorative foliage.
482. A fountain with eagles perched on a rock above it.
483. Three shields of Knights of the Round Table.
484. Arms of Tristram and another shield.
485. Arms of Gawain and Clarence.
486. Decorative frieze, with peacocks, notes on heraldry.
487. Decorative frieze, peacocks with spread tails.
488. Arms of Lancelot.
489. Spheres and peacocks’ feathers.
490. Decorative design; peacocks with drooping tails.
491. Women and leaves.
492. Notes on the Arms of the Round Table. Pen and ink.
493. The same continued.
494. The same continued, also sketch of two boys holding a tablet.
495. The same continued, also sketch of four shields hung on trees.
496. The same continued, and a different sketch of two boys holding a tablet.
497. (1) A symbol of the rain. (2) The Serpent of Eden.
498. Scheme of curtains in a tent, or on a stage.
501. Two roundels, with the ark and a boat bearing a tree.
502. Two decorative panels.
503. Two decorative panels.
504. A pelican; decorative panel.
505. Decorative panel.
506. Doves flying.
507. A phoenix.
508. Blank page.
509. Decorative panel.
510. Adam and Eve in Paradise; the Angel with the Flaming Sword.
511. Women and angels making music.
512. Angels leading women up a mountain.
513. Women dancing round a pool.
514. Decorative panel; a wing.
515. An arrow bearing a letter over battlements.
517. A dove carrying as letter across the sea.
518. A mermaid.
519. An eagle; coloured chalks.
520. Sheaves of corn; coloured chalks.
521. A ship; brown chalk.
522. A roundel; three women seated; brown chalk.
523. Three children under a shawl.
524. A fountain. A woman opening a door.
525. A fountain. A man pouring water from an urn.
526. A decorative tree.
527. Three comic birds.
528. Decorative foliage.
529. A woman on a balcony.
530. Decorative foliage and peacocks.
531. Peacocks; decorative designs in coloured chalks.
532. Birds and foliage; decorative design.
533. Peacocks; decorative design.
534. A bird.
535. Bird, snake etc.; Decorative designs; blue chalk.
536. Various decorative designs.
357. Two heart shaped pendants.
538. Selene and Endymion. Decorative foliage.
539. Fish. Mermaid. Birds. Brown chalk.
540. Peacocks; decorative designs.
541. A peacock with tail spread.
542. Peacocks and other birds.
543. Birds and foliage.
544. Decorative designs, with angels in roundels. Watercolours.
- Production date
Height: 370 millimetres
Width: 294 millimetres (covers)
- Curator's comments
- See description above for the full list of 222 individual drawings in this beautifully bound album with Burne Jones's monogram and the date '1885' stamped in gold on the cover. The list is taken from the register of acquisitions, compiled when the album was acquired by bequest after the death of Burne-Jones. See also the Arts Council of Great Britain exhibition catalogue, 'Burne-Jones: The paintings, graphic and decorative work of Edward Burne-Jones 1833-98', (no. 327) 1975, by John Christian, which states that the drawings were begun in 1885 and continued until the artist's death thirteen years later and that some are related to projects of the time, such as mosaics for the American Church in Rome.
The study of St Francis receiving the Stigmata (447) was for a painting (recently re-discovered) intended as a gift for Father Damien, who worked in a leper colony in Hawaii (see article by Douglas E Schoenherr in Burlington magazine, no. 160, Sept. 2018, pp. 745-49).
Apart from the drawn and inscribed sides of the laid-down sheets, three blank sides have also been given individual registration numbers: 1899,0713.407, 415 and 508.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1975/6 Nov-Jan, Hayward Gallery, London, 'Burne-Jones', no.327
1976 Jan-Feb, Southampton City Art Gallery, 'Burne-Jones', no.327
1976 Mar-Apr, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 'Burne-Jones', no.327
1994/5 Sep-Jan, British Museum, London, 'Pre-Raphaelite Drawings', no.72
1998/9 Oct-Jan, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 'Burne-Jones', no.140
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Divine Comedy
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number