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On Display

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

Atlas Turned to Stone

In Greek mythology Atlas was a Titan who had fought against the gods of Olympus. As a punishment Zeus made Atlas stand for eternity at the edge of the earth holding up the sky. Atlas's part in the Perseus myth changes in different versions. William Morris's poem has Atlas as a king who refuses Perseus hospitality and is petrified as a punishment, but Burne-Jones chooses another tale where Atlas the Titan asks Perseus to turn him to stone and release him from his eternal labour. Here we see the stone giant still carrying the sphere of the heavens in which can be seen signs of the zodiac.

Medium mixed media on paper
Date 1882
Dimensions 1525mm x 1900mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 105
Credit Line Purchased in 1934 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund

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