Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

Clerk Saunders


Watercolour on paper
Support: 699 × 418 mm
Presented by Mrs Wilfred Hadley through the Art Fund 1927

Display caption

Burne-Jones had a 'passionate sympathy' for Sir Walter Scott's collection of romantic ballads, 'The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border'. One of the poems in the anthology was the source of this watercolour. The incident depicted comes at the end of the ballad of 'Clerk Saunders', when Margaret is visited by the spirit of her dead lover, the Clerk of the title, who has been murdered by her brothers. The flowing lines of the costumes are self-consciously mediaeval and may have been inspired by the clothes William Morris designed for his wife and other women of his and Burne-Jones's circle.

Gallery label, August 2004

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