This picture may have begun as early as 1891, although Burne-Jones's account books list him as working on it beginning in 1896. There is some association with Shakespeare's Tempest, the older man reveals an image of a shipwreck to the young girl, in his convex mirror, although Burne-Jones referred to it as his 'Maiden and Necromancer picture' (see Lago, p. 84). It is believed that the wizard himself is the artist in his younger years, and the young girl was modelled by Frances Graham Horner, daughter of his primary patron since the 1860s, William Graham, and as a result, is often biographically interpreted. Two compositional studies for this picture exist, both in Private Collections; sold at Christie's in 1970 and 1971, respectively.

  • Presented by Sir John Holder, 1912.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Exhibition of the Works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart.
42 New Gallery, London 1898-07-26 - 1899-01-02
Artist's of Victoria's England
9 Cummer Gallery of Art, Jackonsville, Florida 1965-02-02 - 1965-03-14
Il Sacro e Il Profano nell'Arte dei Simbolisti
146 Galeria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin 1969-01-01 - 1969-01-01
Burne-Jones: The Paintings, Graphic and Decorative Work
193 Hayward Gallery, London1 1975-11-05 - 1976-01-04
193 Southampton City Art Gallery 1976-01-24 - 1976-02-22
193 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1976-03-10 - 1976-04-11
Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer
159 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York02 1998-06-04 - 1998-09-06
159 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1998-10-17 - 1999-01-17
159 Musée d'Orsay, Paris 1999-03-01 - 1999-06-06
What they Loved ....Bourgeois Worlds of the 19th Century
- Kunsthalle Krems 2006-03-05 - 2006-07-30


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones
Lady Georgiana Burne-Jones 1904 Macmillan, London Vol. II: p. 306
Burne-Jones Talking: His Conversations, 1895-98, Preserved by His Studio Assistant, Thomas Rooke
Mary Lago 1982 Columbia, Missouri p. 84
Edward Burne-Jones
David Peters Corbett 2004 Tate: British Artists Series p. 62/ pl. 46


Bought for £566.10s at Burne-Jones sale at Christie's, 1898 (lot 88) by Sir John Holder.

Associated people

Name Type
Frances Horner Artist's model
Sir Edward Burne-Jones Artist's model

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