Study of a Woman's Head

WAG 8791


Probably born into a poor family, as a young man Charles Fairfax Murray (1849 - 1919) worked in an engineer's office in Westminster. He got to know Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his circle and became Edward Burne-Jones's first studio assistant in 1866. He was a skillful technician and was quick to learn how to emulate the work of others. He enjoyed various opportunities, transferring Burne-Jones's cartoons on to glass and also working for Rossetti and G.F.Watts. He created designs for Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market and other Poems' of 1862 and William Morris's 'The Earthly Paradise' of 1868-70. He also prepared stained-glass cartoons and painted windows for Morris. He travelled to Italy to make copies of Old Master works for John Ruskin, works which are now in the Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield.