Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

Sidonia von Bork 1560

1860

Medium
Watercolour and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 333 x 171 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1948
Reference
N05877

Display caption

Sidonia von Bork is the central character in Wilhelm Meinhold's gothic romance 'Sidonia the Sorceress'. The novel is set in sixteenth-century Pomerania and chronicles the crimes of the evil Sidonia, whose beauty captivates all who see her. She is shown here at the court of the dowager Duchess of Wolgast, one of the early intrigues in a career that leads to her execution as a witch. Many of the details of Sidonia's appearance are taken directly from Meinhold's description, but the costume is derived from a portrait of Isabella d'Este by Giulio Romano at Hampton Court. This is one of three figure studies, which were the earliest watercolours Burne-Jones completed.

Gallery label, August 2004