Study of the sleeping knights for 'The Briar Wood'

Edward Burne-Jones 1833-98

Pencil, drawn around 1870

Accession number WAG 8979

Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery, 1975.

[.jpg | Alt: drawing of ]

This is a nude study of two men sprawled on the ground. It is for one of a series of paintings telling the story of Sleeping Beauty (the 'Briar Rose' series) In this scene the prince, on his way to rescue the princess, enters the Briar Wood and discovers the knights supposed to be guarding the princess. A spell has been cast on them to make them fall asleep.

The Walker also has an oil study of the knights. Both drawing and oil show the knights in different positions. They are different again in the final oil painting, which exists in two versions.

This drawing is one of many nude studies made by Burne-Jones to study the anatomy of his figures and experiment with different poses.