The Legend of the Briar Rose - The Prince Enters the Briar Wood

After Sir Edward Burne-Jones British
Publisher Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.

Not on view

Between 1874 and 1884 Burne-Jones painted four large panels inspired by Charles Perrault’s La Belle au bois dormant (Tale of the Sleeping Beauty). After they were exhibited to great acclaim at Agnew’s London gallery in 1890, a set of luxurious photogravures was produced at one-third the scale of the originals, using a technique that combines photography and etching. In this introductory scene, the armored hero cuts his way through briars to discover five slumbering knights who failed to break the curse that binds the princess. William Morris, a close friend of the artist’s and a collaborator in Pre-Raphaelitism’s second wave, composed the verse on the painting’s frame:

The fateful slumber floats and flows
About the tangle of the rose.
But lo the fated hand and heart
To rend the slumberous curse apart!

The Legend of the Briar Rose - The Prince Enters the Briar Wood, After Sir Edward Burne-Jones (British, Birmingham 1833–1898 Fulham), Photogravure; proof

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