Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid


Not on display

Oil paint on canvas
Support: 2934 x 1359 mm
frame: 3885 x 2200 x 220
Presented by subscribers 1900

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Burne-Jones’s painting of the African king Cophetua and his love for the beggar Penelophon was based on an Elizabethan ballad and Tennyson’s poem The Beggar Maid. The painting became famous for its technical execution and theme of love and beauty transcending power and material wealth. It was regarded as one of the finest paintings ever produced by a British artist and was widely admired on the Continent. The picture’s egalitarian story has also been connected with the socialism of Burne-Jones’s close friend William Morris.

Gallery label, November 2016

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