Image permission and credit: Peter & Renate Nahum
This pair of watercolours demonstrates Burne-Jones's continuing interest in Arthurian legend in the late 1850's, following his work with Gabriel Rossetti on the mural decorations of the Oxford Union building which were inspired by Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The density of composition and the rich colours reveal Burne-Jones's continuing debt to Rossetti (who was himself in 1859 preparing designs for Edward Moxon's illustrated edition of Tennyson's poems, among which are drawings of Arthurian subjects comparable to this work). It is thought that this watercolour is one of a series which was perhaps intended as designs for tiles or panels within a piece of furniture, or as an initial idea for stained glass.
The first of a pair of watercolours illustrating the madness and the tomb of he and Isoude. Burne Jones repeated the subjects in a different form for a series of stained glass panels at Harden Grange, Bingley. Arthur Hughes , Rossetti, Princep and Morris all contributed work to the project.