Sponsa de Libano

Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1891

WAG 113

About this object

'Sponsa de Libano' (The Bride of Lebanon) is inspired by the ancient text 'The Song of Solomon' from the Old Testament. It represents a love drama between a woman and her husband, and a third individual who tries to lure her away. The bride is shown walking along a woodland path surrounded by lilies, which symbolise her virginity. Female personifications of the North and South winds float in the air above.

This open expression of sexual desire stunned the Victorians. Having engaged in a love affair with one of his models in the 1870s, Burne-Jones treated the subject very literally.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Edward Coley Burne-Jones (British: English, born:1833-08-28, died:1898-06-17)
  • Date
    1891
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Gouache; Tempera; Paper on panel
  • Measurements
    paper: 325.7 cm x 158 cm
  • Physical description
    A woman stands in the foreground on the right with groups of lillies at her feet. Behind her two figures are floating with their draperies swirling in the wind. Trees are visible in the background.
  • Related people
    Edward Coley Burne-Jones (Artist/maker, previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 113
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery from the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition in 1896
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Temporary Exhibition Area, Rooms A B or C
  • Collection
    From the World Museum collections

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Edward Coley Burne-Jones

    Owned from: 1891
    How acquired: Artist
    Owned until: 1896
    Disposal method: Sold to the Walker Art Gallery in 1896 at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: EBJ 1891
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower left
Object view = Fine Art
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