The Mill
By Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

The Mill
By Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
In the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Burne-Jones was originally intended for the Church, and he entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1852, to study for Orders. Here he formed a close friendship with William Morris, and with him helped to found a circle with the idea of creating a monastic brotherhood. The young men were ardent readers, and they read Ruskin and learned about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In 1855, Burne-Jones and Morris, while on a tour in France, determined to become artists, and the purpose of taking Holy Orders was finally abandoned.

As might be expected from a young man who corresponded with Ruskin, and was the friend of Rossetti, Burne-Jones was a versatile worker. In his twenty-fourth year he received his first commission to paint two pictures of "The Blessed Damozel," began to make designs for stained glass, and joined with Rossetti, Morris and others in decorating the Union Hall (now the Library) at Oxford. Rossetti inspired him most, but he widened his sources of influence by a tour in Italy with Ruskin in 1859, the year before his marriage. Then followed a period of some five years, during which he devoted himself mainly to water-colours, after which he painted largely in oil, varied with stained glass designs for the Morris firm and patterns for tapestry. To this period belongs "The Mill" as well as his famous pictures "King Cophetua" and the "Golden Stairs."

He was always a fascinating colourist, and his water-colours were noteworthy for their brilliancy and purity of hue. He led a very retired life, working hard at the great and original masterpieces upon which his reputation rests so securely. Honours were showered upon him, including an honorary degree from Oxford, the University he had left before gaining a degree in the ordinary way; an Associateship of the Royal Academy, which he afterwards resigned, the Legion of Honour, and a baronetcy. He died suddenly, in harness, in 1898.

From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
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Online "Name the Painting"

The Mirror of Venus
by Burne-Jones at CGFA

Biography of Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones Online

Edward Burne-Jones
at Wikipedia

at Web Museum, Paris

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His Own Portrait

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Famous Paintings