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Wood-engraving

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1896 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Burne-Jones, Edward Coley (Sir), born 1833 - died 1898 (designer)
    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
    Hooper, William Harcourt, born 1834 - died 1912 (engraver)
    Kelmscott Press (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood engraving, with hand-painted border in Indian ink, Chinese white and graphite

  • Museum number:

    D.1554-1907

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 128

Object Type
This illustration was designed by Edward Burne-Jones and wood-engraved by W.H. Hooper. During the 19th century it was usual for the artist to make the drawing and a professional engraver would cut the design into the block of boxwood.

Design & Designing
William Morris set up the Kelmscott Press in 1891. William Morris was a key figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement and central to the Pre-Raphaelite artistic circle. Inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts and early printed books, he set up the Kelmscott Press in order to meet his aesthetic ideal of integrated design, in particular unified illustration and text. Morris himself carefully designed initial letters, borders and Gothic typefaces, as well as commissioning illustrations from artists such as the leading Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones. The frame for the illustration was drawn by Morris and was one of the 18 designs he used in this volume.

People
Burne-Jones first met William Morris when they were students in Oxford. Although principally a painter, Burne-Jones provided a number of designs for Morris' company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., and this collaboration continued when Morris set up the Kelmscott Press and Burne-Jones illustrated a number of the books. Chaucer, however, was a text that had been a shared enthusiasm since their student days and had inspired many of their individual paintings and designs. Although originally the Kelmscott Chaucer was to have only 40 illustrations, by the end of the project there were 87.

Physical description

wood-engraving

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

1896 (made)

Artist/maker

Burne-Jones, Edward Coley (Sir), born 1833 - died 1898 (designer)
Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
Hooper, William Harcourt, born 1834 - died 1912 (engraver)
Kelmscott Press (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Wood engraving, with hand-painted border in Indian ink, Chinese white and graphite

Dimensions

Height: 22.1 cm, Width: 28 cm

Object history note

Drawn by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (born in Birmingham, 1833, died in London, 1898) and William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896); published by the Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, London

Descriptive line

Working proof of an illustration to 'The Tale of the Clerk of Oxenford' from 'The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer' published by Kelmscott Press

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This is one of Burne-Jones's illustrations for 'The Tale of the Clerk of Oxenford' from the Kelmscott Press 'Chaucer'. It shows Griselda (the heroine of the Clerk's tale). Morris painted the frame design on to the wood-engraved proof. Burne-Jones produced 87 illustrations for the book. Morris designed all of the typography, the title page, 26 initial words and many other initials, 14 page borders and 18 frames for the illustrations. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Wood-engraving

Categories

Prints; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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