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At the time Burne-Jones and his family moved into their house in Rottingdean (see no.72) the rural setting could not have been more idyllic. From the back windows Burne-Jones was able to look up over 'the tender, bowed locks of corn' towards a windmill on the brim of the rolling downland. From 1885 he started to set down simple outline drawings in a 'secret' sketchbook, now in the British Museum. As well as designs for the mosaic scheme installed in the American Episcopal Church in Rome, the sketchbook contains a preparatory study for this watercolour, which he completed at some point during the last decade of his life.

September 2004