Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Burne-Jones, [Sir] Edward

(1833-1898) UK painter. Along with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris, he was part of the second generation of the Preraphaelites. He produced many tapestry and stained-glass designs for Morris, and these, together with his paintings, evoke a dreamy, romantic, medieval, literary never-never land in the style of Filippo Lippi (circa 1406-1469) and Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510). Among his greatest book Illustrations are the 87 plates for Morris's Kelmscott Press edition of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1897). Typical among his many weird fantasy subjects was the only painting EB-J ever contributed to the Royal Academy Exhibition, "The Depths of the Sea" (1886), which shows a powerful Mermaid hugging a naked man around the waist, and pulling him down to his death.

EB-J's son, Philip Burne-Jones (1861-1926), was a painter in the same tradition, best-remembered for his portrait of "The Vampire" (1897), which coincided with the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). This shows a woman with flowing black hair and long sharp teeth, clad in a clinging nightdress, astride a contented young man. The catalogue was enlivened with a poem called "The Vampire" by the artist's cousin, Rudyard Kipling. [RD]

[Sir] Edward Coley Burne-Jones


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.