|Artist||Frederick Hollyer after Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones|
|Dimensions||Image 105 x 130 mm, Plate 135 x 150 mm, Sheet 157 x 230 mm|
Typical of the work of Burne-Jones, and more broadly speaking, that of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, 'The Dream of Launcelot' is Medievally inspired, with its source being found in the Arthurian legend. Sir Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table, is depicted asleep against the head of a well. His helmet sits by his side, whilst his sword rests in his hand, and his shield hangs from a withered tree. To the right of the composition is the Chapel of San Grael, with an angel emerging from the doorway. The painting from which this photogravure was taken in now in the collection of the Southampton City Art Gallery. Burne-Jones revisited the subject in pastels, which was left unfinished at his death.
This print would likely have appeared in a loose sheet folio of the works of the Pre-Raphaelites dating from around 1900.
Frederick Hollyer (1837 - 1933) was a mezzotint engraver and famed photographic reproducer of Victorian paintings. Born in London, Frederick was the son of the line engraver Samuel Hollyer. In his junior years he flirted with engraving, and it was in this practise that he received renown for a series of mezzotints he produced after Edwin Landseer. It was his interest, and subsequent pioneering in the field of photography that defined Hollyer's career. He began by making albumen prints from collodion negatives but then was fiercely active in the development of the platinotype. The method of printing, combined with a dry gelatin plate, as opposed to an emulsified version, results in a very high quality matte finish. The prints display a greater tonal subtlety and formal veracity; they are also far more durable. In the 1870's, Hollyer established a business in photographic reproduction based upon this medium and, under the patronage of Frederick Leighton, specialised in the copying of Pre-Raphaelite painting and drawing. These reproductions were used in books and magazines, and thus contributed hugely to the popularity of the movement. A fact that was acknowledged in Hollyer's obituary by The Times when they wrote that he did as much for the Brotherhood with his prints as John Ruskin did with his pen.
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 c
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.
Condition: Some minor toning and foxing to sheet edges.