- Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt 1833–1898
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 2692 x 1168 mm
frame: 3162 x 1637 x 122 mm
- Bequeathed by Lord Battersea 1924
This painting epitomises Burne-Jones’s interest in investigating a mood rather than telling a story. He deliberately made his pictures enigmatic and the meaning of this painting has provoked much debate. One view is that the 18 women are spirits in an enchanted dream. The painting might also be purely decorative, conveying the idea of endless movement. The underlying idea, popularised in the 1870s by the critic Walter Pater, is that ‘all art constantly aspires to the condition of music’.
Gallery label, November 2016
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