host = $host; $this->dbUser = $dbUser; $this->dbPass = $dbPass; $this->dbName = $dbName; $this->connectToDb(); } /** * Establishes connection to MySQL and selects a database * @return void * @access private */ function connectToDb() { // Make connection to MySQL server if (!$this->dbConn = @mysql_connect($this->host, $this->dbUser, $this->dbPass)) { trigger_error('Could not connect to server'); $this->connectError = true; // Select database } else if (!@mysql_select_db($this->dbName,$this->dbConn)) { trigger_error('Could not select database'); $this->connectError = true; } } /** * Checks for MySQL errors * @return boolean * @access public */ function isError() { if ($this->connectError) { return true; } $error = mysql_error($this->dbConn); if (empty($error)) { return false; } else { return true; } } /** * Returns an instance of MySQLResult to fetch rows with * @param $sql string the database query to run * @return MySQLResult * @access public */ function &query($sql) { if (!$queryResource = mysql_query($sql, $this->dbConn)) { trigger_error('Query failed: ' . mysql_error($this->dbConn) . ' SQL: ' . $sql); } else { return new MySQLResult($this, $queryResource); } } } /** * MySQLResult Data Fetching Class * @access public * @package SPLIB */ class MySQLResult { /** * Instance of MySQL providing database connection * @access private * @var MySQL */ var $mysql; /** * Query resource * @access private * @var resource */ var $query; /** * MySQLResult constructor * @param object mysql (instance of MySQL class) * @param resource query (MySQL query resource) * @access public */ function MySQLResult(&$mysql, $query) { $this->mysql = &$mysql; $this->query = $query; } /** * Fetches a row from the result * @return array * @access public */ function fetch() { if ($row = mysql_fetch_array($this->query, MYSQL_ASSOC)) { return $row; } else if ( $this->size() > 0 ) { mysql_data_seek($this->query, 0); return false; } else { return false; } } /** * Returns the number of rows selected * @return int * @access public */ function size () { return mysql_num_rows($this->query); } /** * Returns the ID of the last row inserted * @return int * @access public */ function insertID () { return mysql_insert_id($this->mysql->dbConn); } /** * Checks for MySQL errors * @return boolean * @access public */ function isError() { return $this->mysql->isError(); } /** * Returns an instance of MySQLResult to fetch rows with * @param $sql string the database query to run * @return MySQLResult * @access public */ } ?> Watercolour - Phyllis and Demophoon - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre
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Watercolour - Phyllis and Demophoon

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1916P37
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1870 - 1870

Maker Information

Artist:Sir Edward Burne-Jones - View biography for Sir Edward Burne-Jones


The subject of this important work occurs in Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women', though Burne-Jones also significantly sites Ovid's 'Heroides'. Phyllis, Queen of Thrace, falls in love with Demophoon, son of Theseus. He departs but promises to return in six months' time. When he fails to keep his promise, Phyllis hangs herself, and is turned by the gods into an almond tree. On his eventual return, Demophoon remorsefully embraces the tree, which blooms, as Phyllis emerges to forgive and reclaim her faithless lover.

Both Phyllis and Demophoon are modelled on Maria Zambaco, with whom Burne-Jones had been having an affair since June 1868 (a host of studies exist for both figures, in various locales). And for this reason, in conjunction with Demophoon's nudity, a controversy ensued when it was exhibited at the Old Watercolour Society for the Summer Exhibition of 1870. Within two weeks of the exhibition's opening, Burne-Jones withdrew the painting due to complaints, and two works by other artists were exhibited in its place. In August 1870, Burne-Jones resigned from the Society, over artistic integrity.

In the catalogue for the Summer Exhibition at the Old Watercolour Society, Burne-Jones included the following caption, a quote from Ovid: 'Dic mihi quid feci? Nisi non sapienter amavi' [Tell me what I have done? I loved unwisely.] Burne-Jones later reworked the painting entirely in oils, transforming the bodies of both Phyllis and Demophoon into an homage to Michelangelo, calling it 'The Tree of Forgiveness' (1882, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight), where Zambaco's face remains only on Phyllis.

Presented by the John Feeney Charitable Trust, 1916.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
School/Style:Aesthetic Nude
Medium:Bodycolour and watercolour with gold medium and gum arabic on composit layers of paper on canvas.

Associated People

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Height:938 mm
Width:475 mm