Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

Two Studies of Tristram for ‘The Madness of Sir Tristram’


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 207 x 241 mm
Bequeathed by J.R. Holliday 1927

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In 1862 Burne-Jones made four designs for stained glass illustrating the story of Tristram and Iseult from Sir Thomas Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur'. These were part of a group commissioned by Walter Dunlop for his home at Bingley in Yorkshire. Other designs for the set were provided by Rossetti, Madox Brown, Morris, Valentine Prinsep and Arthur Hughes; the stained glass is now in Bradford City Art Gallery. Late in 1862 Burne-Jones reworked three of his cartoons as watercolours, including 'The Madness of Sir Tristram' exhibited here (no.18). In Malory's epic tale Tristram loses his sanity and lives wild in the forest after discovering false evidence of Iseult's love for Sir Kay Hedius.

Gallery label, August 2004

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