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Arts & Crafts Movement, William Morris
Mythology & Art
Edward Burne-Jones, 1833 – 1898, was a British painter and later Pre-Raphaelite. His work was at first heavily influenced by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who had inspired Burne-Jones to switch from theology to art. By the 1860s, Burne-Jones found his own style. His break through painting was "The Beguiling of Merlin." This was fitting as Bourne-Jones felt the closest to the mythological character of King Arthur.
Some of the favorite stories painted by Edward Burne-Jones are: King Arthur, Beauty and the Beast, Chaucer’s works, Cinderella, Cupid and Psyche, St. George Slaying the Dragon, Perseus, Pygmalion, the Catherine Wheel, and Sleeping Beauty. When it was a favorite, he would paint scene after scene from the story.
The stories which fascinated Burne-Jones typically had a strong element of questing. Perseus must capture the head of the snake-haired Medusa. Sleeping Beauty’s Prince comes through the thorns to wake her. Then there’s Bourne-Jones’s favorite hero, Arthur, who, with his knights, is after the mystic Holy Grail.
Today’s businesses, of putting art images on tee shirts, tote bags, and other consumer items, came from Edward Burne-Jones working with colleague and friend William Morris. They created ceramic tiles, stained glass windows, tapestries, furniture and other items with Burne-Jones's art work on those items. For example, one could put ceramic tile around the fireplace which told the story of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast.