- Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt 1833–1898
- Tempera on paper
- Support: 258 x 257 mm
- Bequeathed by A.N. MacNicholl 1916
According to Greek myth, Tantalus tried to trick the gods. They condemned him to stand for eternity in a pool beneath a tree heavy with fruit. Much as he tried, he could never reach far enough to eat or drink.
The design was one of eight, made to decorate a grand piano for William Graham, MP. They were linked by the story of Orpheus - whose music charmed all who heard it - and his descent into the Underworld in a failed attempt to rescue his wife Eurydice.
Gallery label, October 2013
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.