A page from the facsimile edition of Burne-Jones' Flower Book, one of 38 watercolour designs reproduced by Henri Piazza et Cie, for the Fine Art Society, London in 1905. Uerscheln identifies 'adder's tongue' as crowfoot, but that is the American variety of the flower. The English flower known as 'adder's tongue' is chickweed (Ophioglossum vulgatum), also known as 'Christ's Spear' or 'serpent's tongue'. The 'Temptation' is one of the most commonly depicted scenes in art, and Burne-Jones created numerous variations as well, that are compositionally identical to this scene: 'Adam and Eve', cartoon for stained glass (V & A,1874); 'Adam and Eve' (stained glass window, St. Martin's Church, Brampton, Cumbria; top light; north aisle, west-most window, 1878); and the 'Tree of Life' (from 'The Secret Book of Designs, British Museum, 1889).

  • Purchased, 1953.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
The Temptation.
Label - Printed - description of the scene, written by the artist. printed by the artist, herein a facsimile


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
The Flower Book.
Edward Burne-Jones 1994 Taschen Pl. VIII
Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
2007 Dan Giles, Ltd., London p. 72

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