Whitley has identified this drawing as another design for 'The Heart Desires' from the Pygmalion series of illustrations to Morris's 'Earthly Paradise'. In fact, this drawing recounts another tale from 'The Earthly Paradise', entitled, 'The Ring Given to Venus' (see Arts Council of Great Britain's 1975 Burne-Jones's catalogue, p.84). This is one of several sketches Burne-Jones left for other poems listed by Morris to be illustrated (see Joseph R. Dunlap, 'The Book That Never Was', Oriole, New York: 1971, page 13). Dunlap states that the reason this drawing was so misidentified is because it involves a statue, making it easily mistaken for an incident from 'Pygmalion and the Image'. This drawing is in reverse for transfer for engraving; for the original copper plate. The story of 'The Ring Given to Venus' is of a man named Laurence who, on his wedding day, unwittingly gave his bride's ring to the goddess Venus (as a statue). As a result, trouble ensues, but in the end, he gets the ring back, and weds his bride.

  • Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons Ltd, Derby p. 90
Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
2007 Dan Giles, Ltd., London -

Associated people

Name Type
William Morris Author

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