|Activity||Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), 1st Baronet, painter, was born in Birmingham and baptised Edward Coley Burne. He later adopted Burne as part of his surname. His father was Edward Richard Jones and his mother, who died when he was born, was Elizabeth Coley. A delicate child, Burne-Jones entered King Edward's School, 1844 and matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, 1852. He formed a society with William Morris and a group of Birmingham men called 'The Brotherhood'. Its members were interested in poetry, literature, and the 'Romantic Movement'. They founded a magazine called the 'Oxford and Cambridge Magazine'. By 1855, Jones had resolved to become an artist instead of a cleric and on a trip to London in 1856 he was introduced to Rossetti who persuaded him to abandon his studies and, with Morris whom he shared rooms with, begin his painting career. |
Burne-Jones was not a pupil of Rossetti but regularly studied his methods. His talents included painting and decorative work and he would work on many projects at the same time and then lay them aside to be finished at a later date. Morris married in 1859 and the next year moved to a house in Bexley Heath which Burne-Jones helped to decorate. Burne-Jones married Georgiana MacDonald, 1860 and moved to Bloomsbury, then in 1864 to Kensington Square and then finally to North End Road, 1867, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He had a son, Philip and a daughter Margaret.
For many years after this move he only exhibited water-colours in the rooms of the 'Old' Society, and his stained-glass windows where executed by Morris. His one buyer at the time was William Graham of Grosvenor Place, a personal friend, who purchased several water-colours, and after his death in 1886, Jones's paintings achieved substantial prices, but it was not until the launch of the Grosvenor Gallery, 1877-1887, and its successor, the New Gallery, that Burne-Jones's work gained notice. In 1878, ‘Merlin and Vivien,’ was sent to the Paris Exhibition which extended his recognition to the continent and later to America. A hundred of his works were reproduced by the Berlin Photographic Company. Burne-Jones was elected to the Royal Academy, 1885, but resigned in 1893. He received numerous foreign medals, and was made him an honorary DCL, 1881. His college elected him an honorary fellow in 1882, and he was made a baronet in 1894. His works include: ‘Mirror of Venus’ (1877); ‘Pygmalion’ series (1879); ‘Golden Stairs’ (1880); ‘Wheel of Fortune’ (1883); ‘King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid’ (1884); ‘The Garden of Pan’ (1887).