- Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt 1833–1898
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 2934 x 1359 mm
frame: 3885 x 2200 x 220
- Presented by subscribers 1900
This work was based on Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘The Beggar Maid’. King Cophetua of Ethiopia falls in love with Penelophon, a young woman he sees begging for money. They marry, and she becomes Queen. This work was considered Burne-Jones’s greatest achievement. Critics praised it for its technical skill and for the message that love is more important than wealth and power. Through this painting and its reproduction as a print, Burne-Jones became seen in Europe as the most important symbolist painter of his generation.
Gallery label, August 2019
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