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Drawing - William Morris reading poetry to Burne-Jones
  • William Morris reading poetry to Burne-Jones
    Burne-Jones, Edward Coley
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William Morris reading poetry to Burne-Jones

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1861 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Burne-Jones, Edward Coley (Sir), born 1833 - died 1898 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case PD, shelf 165, box C

This little sketch records one of the great close friendships in British art, that of Burne-Jones and William Morris. They first met in 1853 as undergraduates at Exeter College, Oxford, and were to collaborate on many artistic and decorative projects. In this caricature, Burne-Jones celebrates his friend's love of the written and spoken word while he shows himself apparently asleep. The expressive manner in which line is manipulated is outstanding.

Physical description

Line drawing of a fat man with a shock of curly hair sitting on a chair and facing forwards. To the right a bearded man facing left, seated, with legs out stretched and his hands in his pockets.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1861 (drawn)


Burne-Jones, Edward Coley (Sir), born 1833 - died 1898 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink on paper


Height: 180 mm, Width: 115 mm

Object history note

Purchased, 1976

Maria Zambaco, a great aunt of Mrs Wyndam Milligan, who sold the (E.449 & 450-1976) at Sotheby's, Belgravia, 29 June 1976, Lot 230 and 243

Descriptive line

William Morris reading poetry to Burne-Jones, pen and ink on paper, Edward Burne Jones, 1861, England

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Fagence Cooper, Suzanne, Pre Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, V&A Publications, 2003. 176p., ill. ISBN I 85177 393 2
Conrad, Christofer & Zettel, Annabel. Edward Burne-Jones : the earthly paradise. Ostfildern, Germany : Hatje Cantz, 2009



Subjects depicted

Reading; Chair


Caricatures & Cartoons; Drawings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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