Self-caricatures are common in Burne-Jones's letters and were often used as a way to jolly himself out of a dark mood; many show him in comic despair. 'Unpainted Masterpieces' reflects the feeling expressed to Charles Eliot Norton in 1880 that 'my rooms are so full of work...[and] I have begun so much that if I live to be as old as the oldest inhabitant of Fulham I shall never complete it.' By the 1890s that feeling had grown into genuine concern that 'I don't feel that I have the time before me that I used to, and it won't do to put by anything I am about for fear I shouldn't have the chance of taking it up again.'

  • Purchased, 1980.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Unpainted Masterpieces
Title bottom centre Written - Description of the scene, written by the artist.. In ink.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Burne-Jones dal Preraffaelismo al Simbolismo
not in catalogue Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome 1986-10-07 - 1987-01-03
Burne-Jones: Watercolours & Drawings
1 Tate Gallery, London 1993-07-14 - 1993-01-03
Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer
169 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1998-06-04 - 1998-09-06
169 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1998-10-17 - 1999-01-17
169 Musée d'Orsay, Paris 1999-03-01 - 1999-06-06
- BMAG G14 2004-01-04 - 2004-02-24?


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. 64

Associated people

Name Type
Sir Edward Burne-Jones Depicted

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