William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones


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Caroline Arscott

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The friendship between William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones began when they met as undergraduates in 1853 and—despite their differences in temperament and in attitudes to political engagement—lasted until Morris’s death in 1896. This friendship was one of the defining features of both their lives, and yet the overlap in their artistic projects has not previously been considered in detail. In this deeply thoughtful book, Caroline Arscott explores particular aspects of the paintings of Burne-Jones and the designs of Morris and concludes that there are close interconnections in theme, allusion, and formal strategy between the works of the two men. She suggests that themes of bodily pain, desire and appetite are central to their vision.  Through careful readings of Burne-Jones’s painting and Morris’s designs for printed wallpapers and textiles, she shows that it is possible to bring together fine art and design in a linked discussion that illuminates the projects of both artists.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Caroline Arscott is senior lecturer, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

"Arscott's keen intellect and lyrical, lucid style of writing are folded into a volume with sumptuous reproductions and handsome graphic design. . . .this is a book William Morris would approve of!" —Margaretta S. Frederick,
Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies

"Caroline Arscott, Senior Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute, offers students of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones an engaging...study of the aesthetic relationship between the two artists."--Kathleen O'Neill Sims, Victorian Studies
ISBN: 9780300140934
Publication Date: November 25, 2008
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
260 pages, 9 1/2 x 11
138 illus.
Art History and Emergency

Crises in the Visual Arts and Humanities

Edited by David Breslin and Darby English

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