This unique portrait in Burne-Jones's oeuvre, was one of his first attempts, if not the first, at formal portraiture. His wife, Georgiana, whom he had recently married, was the sitter, and her appearance belies her age of just twenty-two. The entire composition, including the inscriptions above the sitter, are reminiscent of Renaissance and Northern Renaissance portraiture. While the sitter's pose and costume mirror work of Italian artists, to a certain extent, the portrait seems indebted to the portraitists of the Henrican, Marian and Elizabethan courts, such as: Joos van Cleeve, Hans Eworth, and Nicholas Hilliard.

  • Presented by Colin MacInnes, 1956.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
G.M.J / Aetat: suae : xxii/ pinxit E.B.J./ AD MDCCCLXIII// [label on reverse] Mrs. Thirkell
Label above image Painted 1863 identification of the sitter & her age, as well as signature and date by the artist. painted by the artist
Mrs. Thirkell
Label reverse - - on reverse. not in the artist's hand


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Hidden Burne Jones
20 Birningham Museum and Art Gallery 2007-04-04 - 2007-07-01
20 Leighton House, London 2007-10-12 - 2008-01-27


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
2007 Dan Giles, Ltd., London p. 73

Associated people

Name Type
Georgiana Burne-Jones Depicted

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