Information

This is arguably Burne-Jones's most important early work. In the memorial biography of her husband, Georgiana Burne-Jones stated that it seemed: 'to sum up and seal the ten years that had passed since Edward first went to Oxford'. In terms of design, technique and expression, the picture demonstrates that Burne-Jones had reached a new and more personal style. It remained Burne-Jones's own favourite among his early works and in 1894 he tried to borrow it to make a large oil version.The subject is taken from the life of the Florentine knight St John Gualberto, founder of the Valombrosan Order in 1039, who was miraculously embraced by a wooden figure of Christ while praying at a wayside shrine after forgiving the murder of his kinsman. This obscure legend was unlikely to be familiar to a wide audience and this further enhanced its mystical and intensely poetic quality. Incidentally, the marigolds in the foreground came from the 'town garden' in Russell Square, close to Burne-Jones's house opposite the British Museum.

  • Purchased, 1973.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Makers

Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -

Inscriptions

Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
EDWARD BURNE-JONES 1863
Signature and date bottom right Painted 1863
 

Exhibitions

Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
-
215 Old Water-Colour Society 1864 - 1864
 
Exhibition of the Works of Edward Burne-Jones
9 New Gallery, London 1892 - 1893
 
A Pre-Raphaelite Collection
13 Goupil Gallery, London 1896 - 1896
 
Exhibition of the Works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart.
53 New Gallery, London 1898 - 1899
 
Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings of the 1860 Period
102 Tate Gallery 1923-04-27 - 1923-07-29
 
Centenary Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart. (1833-1898)
8 Tate Gallery 1933 - 1933
 
Exhibition of British Art 1000-1860
584 Royal Academy of Arts, London 1934-01-006 - 1934-03-10
 
-
43 National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 1956 - 1956
 
Il Sacro e Il Profano nell'Arte dei Simbolisti
145 Galeria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin 1969 - 1969
 
Burne-Jones
10 Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield 1971-10-23 - 1971-11-28
 
Burne-Jones: The Paintings, Graphic and Decorative Work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones 1833-98
45 Hayward Gallery, London 1975-11-01 - 1976
45 Southampton City Art Gallery 1976 - 1976-03-01
45 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1976-03-01 - 1976-04-01
 
The Pre-Raphaelites
234 (repro) Tate Gallery, London 1984-03-07 - 1984-05-28
 
Pre-Raphaelite Painters and Patrons in the North East
20 (repro) Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1989-10-14 - 1990-01-15
 
Rossetti
- Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 1990-07-22 - 1991-02-14
 
Burne-Jones: Watercolours & Drawings
27 Tate Gallery, London 1993-07-01 - 1993-11-07
 
Visions of Love and Life: The Pre-Raphaelite Collection from the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
73 (repro) Seattle Art Museum, Washington 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
73 (repro) The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1995-07-16
73 (repro) Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
73 (repro) The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1995-11-04 - 1996-01-02
73 (repro) High Museum of Art, Atlanta 1996-01-23 - 1996-04-10
73 (repro) Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1996-05-25 - 1996-07-29
 
Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist Dreamer
26 (repro) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1998-06-04 - 1998-07-06
26 (repro) Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1998-10-17 - 1999-01-17
26 (repro) Musée d'Orsay, Paris 1999-03-01 - 1999-06-06
 
Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon
121 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 2005-10-01 - 2006-01-15
121 Villa Stuck, Munich - - 2006-06-18
 
The Pre-Raphaelites
141 Nationalmuseum, Stockholm 2009-02-26 - 2009-05-24
 

Literature

Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Critical Review
30 April 1864 Athenaeum p. 618
 
Critical Review
1864 Art Journal p. 170
 
Critical Review
1864 Times -
 
Critical Review
1864 Illustrated London News -
 
Broadlands as It Was
E. Clifford 1890 - p. 56
 
Edward Burne-Jones: A Record and a Review
Malcolm Bell 1892 George Bell & Sons pp. 21,37,97
 
Review
Julia Cartwright 1894 The Art Annual pp. 11-12
 
Burne-Jones
Otto von Schleinitz 1901 Bielefeld & Leipzig p. 17 (repro)
 
Burne-Jones
Fortunee de Lisle 1904 Methuen & Co. pp. 67, 69-74
 
Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones
Georgiana Burne-Jones 1904 Macmillan & Sons Vol. I, pp. 261-262; Vol. II, p. 231
 
Burne-Jones
Bill Waters, Martin Harrison 1973 Barrie & Jenkins p. 76, fig. 94
 
Burne-Jones Talking: His Studio Conversations
Mary Lago 1985 University of Michigan p. 107
 
Simbolismo en Europe
1990 Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderna, Canary Islands pp-57-58 (repro)
 
Burne-Jones
Christopher Wood 1998 Weidenfeld & Nicolson pp. 42 (repro), 44
 
Chivalry, Sacrifice & The Great War: The Medieval Contexts of Edward Burne-Jones'"The Miracle of the Merciful Knight" (from 'Speaking Images. Essays in Honor of V.A. Kolve')
Allen J. Frantzen 2001 Pegasus Press, The University of North Carolina at Asheville pp. 618-625 (repro)
 
Edward Burne-Jones
Patrick Bade 2004 Paradise Books p.33, fig. 19
 
Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
2007 Dan Giles, Ltd., London p. 76
 
The Pre-Raphaelites
2009 Nationalmuseum, Stockholm cat.141,p.214; fig.52

Provenance

Purchased from the artist in 1864 by James Leathart; W Marchant; Sir John Middlemore
Purchased at the Christie's sale of James Leathart, 19 June 1897, lot 7.

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