Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

(1833 - 1898)
Birmingham 1833 – 1898 Londres
Angel (left), Study for “Morning of the Resurrection”, 1885
Verso: Study for Mary Magdalene “Morning of the Resurrectiona
Monogrammed and dated lower right: EBJ / 1885
Graphite on paper 26,1 x 15,2 cm

Provenance:

Artist’s Studio Sale, London (Christie’s, July 18, 1898); Gribble collection (from 1898); Radcliffe collection (until 1918); Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London (by 1968); Private collection, Germany (after 1968).
Sale Grisebach 2009, Lot-Nr. 103
Art Cuéllar-Nathan, Zürich.

Exhibitions:

“Exhibition of French & English Drawings, 19th & 20th Centuries,” London, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., no. 79.

Literature:

Christie’s, London, Remaining Works of That Eminent Painter, Sire Edward Burne-Jones (auction catalogue), July 18, 1898, lot 135; Christie’s, London, The British Red cross Society and the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, (auction catalogue), April 8-25, 1918, lot 1432.

This precisely rendered graphite drawing is a study for the left-hand angel in Burne-Jones’s painting The Morning of the Resurrection, begun in 1882 and completed in 1886 for the Church of St. Peter, Vere Street, London (current whereabouts unknown). At least two other versions of the painting were completed, one of which is now in the Tate, Britain (attached; oil on wood panel, 82.55 x 152.4 cm). As was his usual practice, Burne-Jones produced a number of highly worked graphite and chalk drawings in preparation for the painting. The drawings would be of use to his assistants, who helped the artist with larger painting projects and reprises.

The dramatic focus of The Morning of the Resurrection is not on Christ himself, but on Mary Magdalene and the two angels seated on the empty tomb. Burne-Jones sought to represent the moment when the Magdalene has just glimpsed, but not yet recognized, the figure of Christ. He exhibited the work in 1886 at the Grosvenor Gallery—a venue created by and for the Pre-Raphaelites—with a quotation from the New Testament: “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus” (John, XX:14). In his widely-read monograph on Burne-Jones, first published in 1904, the critic Fortuné de Lisle observed that “the two angles make the ancient sign of adoration, covering the mouth with the hand.”

Inv.Nr. 1222


Birmingham 1833 – 1898 Londres
Angel (right), Study for “Morning of the Resurrection”, 1885
Monogrammed and dated lower right: EBJ / 188 Graphite on paper
26.5 x 15.2 cm

Provenance:

Artist’s Studio Sale, London (Christie’s, July 18, 1898); Gribble collection (from 1898); Radcliffe collection (until 1918); Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London (by 1968); Private collection, Germany (after 1968).
Sale Grisebach 2009, Lot-Nr. 104
Art Cuéllar-Nathan, Zürich

Exhibitions:

“Exhibition of French & English Drawings, 19th & 20th Centuries,” London, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., no. 79.

Literature:

Christie’s, London, Remaining Works of That Eminent Painter, Sire Edward Burne-Jones (auction catalogue), July 18, 1898, lot 135; Christie’s, London, The British Red cross Society and the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, (auction catalogue), April 8-25, 1918, lot 1432.
This precisely rendered graphite drawing is a study for the right-hand angel in Burne- Jones’s painting The Morning of the Resurrection, begun in 1882 and completed in 1886 for the Church of St. Peter, Vere Street, London (current whereabouts unknown). At least two other versions of the painting were completed, one of which is now in the Tate, Britain (attached; oil on wood panel, 82.55 x 152.4 cm). As was his usual practice, Burne- Jones produced a number of highly worked graphite and chalk drawings in preparation for the painting. The drawings would be of use to his assistants, who helped the artist with larger painting projects and reprises.

As a leader of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (a group of Victorian artists who revered the 15th century painters of the early Italian Renaissance), Burne-Jones’s preparatory drawings included life drawing of the nude, regardless of whatever drawing would eventually drape the figure in the painting. An extant chalk study, slightly larger than the present work, depicts the angel in the same position and with the same gesture as the present work (attached, attached; 30 x 17.78 cm; private collection).

The dramatic focus of The Morning of the Resurrection is not on Christ himself, but on Mary Magdalene and the two angels seated on the empty tomb. Burne-Jones sought to represent the moment when the Magdalene has just glimpsed, but not yet recognized, the figure of Christ. He exhibited the work in 1886 at the Grosvenor Gallery—a venue created by and for the Pre-Raphaelites—with a quotation from the New Testament: “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus” (John, XX:14). In his widely-read monograph on Burne-Jones, first published in 1904, the critic Fortuné de Lisle observed that “the two angles make the ancient sign of adoration, covering the mouth with the hand.”

Inv.Nr. 1223