Study of the mermaid's head for 'The Depths of the Sea'
Edward Burne-Jones 1833-98
Pencil, drawn around 1886
Accession number LL3935
Purchased by Lord Leverhulme at the artist's studio sale, 1919, for the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
In 1886 Burne-Jones exhibited an oil painting of a mermaid dragging a drowning sailor down to the bottom of the sea. This is a study for the head of the mermaid. She has a mysterious, enigmatic expression.
Although this relates very closely to the oil painting, it is also an example of the many pencil drawings of female heads which Burne Jones drew and sold as independent works.