Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

The Passing of Venus


Not on display

Graphite, charcoal, watercolour and gouache on paper
Support: 1069 × 2494 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1919

Display caption

The appearance of the work is now far from what the artist intended as a result of the altered balance of light and dark. The paper is lined with canvas and attached to a stretcher. Exposure to light and air has darkened the paper, less so where it overlies the stretcher. The stretcher outline can now be seen as lighter strips. Areas that were painted with lead white have discoloured to a lesser extent than the paper. White 'haloes' surround some brush strokes where the paint was thinned, and paint medium ran into the paper. The 'haloes' are accentuated by the discoloration of the surrounding paper giving rise to a 'photographic negative' effect.

Gallery label, September 2004

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