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Chalk Drawing - The Star of Bethlehem - Study for the Angel's Head

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1931P62
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1890 - 1890

Maker Information

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


This head study may be compositionally based on the angel in the 1887-88 gouache cartoon version of 'The Star of Bethlehem' (Collection of Lord Lloyd-Webber; see also Sotheby's Sale 3/11/1993, no.219), but intended for Birmingham's (version in watercolour (1891P75), based on the date. The cartoon was for a tapestry executed by Morris & Co. (for two versions of this composition: Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk and National Gallery of South Australia). A similar mixed media cartoon with gilt was executed, with the angel's head in a different pose, for an earlier tapestry (in 1888, cartoon in the V&A; tapestries in Eton College Chapel and Exeter College Chapel, Oxford). The 1888 cartoon for tapestry is compositionally identical to the large watercolour of 'The Star of Bethlehem' in Birmingham's collection.

Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
School/Style:Biblical Angel
Medium:Red and white chalk on brown paper.


Height:375 mm
Width:290 mm

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