|After Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones
|The Art Journal, London, J.S. Virtue & Co. Ltd. [c.1895]
|Image 260 x 130 mm, Plate 315 x 160 mm, Sheet 320 x 244 mm
A photogravure of Burne-Jones' painting of Sidonia, from The Art Journal. Inscription beneath title reads: From the Picture by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart., from the Picture in the Possession of Graham Robertson, Esq.
Sidonia von Borcke (1548 - 1620) was a Polish noble tried and executed for witchcraft, murder, and communion with the devil. Her life was fantasised in Germany in the romance Sidonia von Bork, die Klosterhexe, an English translation of which by Lady Wilde was published by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press in 1894. The figure of Sidonia captivated the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who depicted her as a femme-fatale in the Medea style. Burne-Jones' captivating full-body portrait of Sidonia (1860) has inspired many representations of witches in popular culture, most directly in the characterisation and costume of Miranda Richardson's character in Tim Burton's film adaptation of Sleepy Hollow (1999).
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Bt (1833-1898) was a painter and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones met William Morris as an undergraduate of Exeter College, Oxford, whilst studying for a degree in theology. The pair went on to work very closely together on numerous decorative arts projects including stained glass windows, tapestries, and illustrations. Originally intending to become a church minister, Burne-Jones never finished his degree, choosing instead to pursue an artistic career under the influence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti heavily inspired his early work, but by the 1860's his idiosyncratic style was beginning to develop. His mature work, however different in total effect, is rich in conscious echoes of Botticelli, Mantegna and other Italian masters of the Quattrocento. Thusly, Burne Jones' later paintings of classical and medieval subjects are some of the most iconic of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He was at the height of his popularity during the 1880's, though his reputation began to decline with the onset of the Impressionists. He was created a baronet in 1894, when he formally hyphenated his name.