Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt Study of the Image for ‘The Godhead Fires’ in the ‘Pygmalion and the Image’ Series c.1868

Share this artwork

Artwork details

Title
Study of the Image for ‘The Godhead Fires’ in the ‘Pygmalion and the Image’ Series
Date c.1868
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 265 x 149 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Lord Duveen 1925
Reference
N04114
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Burne-Jones made his first designs for the story of Pygmalion and the Image in 1867. These were part of a group intended to illustrate a lavish edition of William Morris's poem 'The Earthly Paradise'. The myth, which Morris adapted from Ovid, concerns a sculptor whose love for one of his own creations is the means of its coming to life. For his paintings, Burne-Jones compressed the story into four scenes, working from 1868 simultaneously on two versions of the series (the set he exhibited in 1879 is in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery). This drawing is a preliminary study for the third scene, in which the goddess Venus animates the statue.

September 2004

About this artwork