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Pencil Drawing - Pygmalion and the Image - Sketch for Pygmalion seeing the Image come to Life

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1927P624
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1867 - 1867

Maker Information

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


A drawing for a series of four paintings based on an episode from William Morris' cycle of epic poems, 'The Earthly Paradise'. The first series is currently in the collection of Lord Lloyd-Webber, the second is in Birmingham's collection.

This design for Pygmalion is nearly identical with 1927P623, but rougher and reversed. Part of 1927P623 appears to have been traced from this study, such as the figure of Pygmalion himself, which would account for the reversal. However, it is very difficult to tell with certainty, which side of the tracing paper is the pencil drawing.

In most of the traced studies for 'The Earthly Paradise' illustrations, the paper is drawn on one side only, and further refinements were made to the compositions by tracing on another sheet over the first drawing, rather than by the usual technique of transferring tracings (which requires the back of the drawing to be redrawn over). In this particular study, the technique seems to have been used for the figure of Pygmalion only, and the remainder of the design was merely copied.

Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Pencil on tracing paper, laid down.

Associated People


Height:114 mm
Width:84 mm