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The Perseus Series

The Baring Room exhibits a complete series of works by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones on the Story of Perseus.

The Perseus series are ten cartoons in gouache for a series of large oil paintings commissioned in 1875 for the London home of the British statesman and arts patron Arthur Balfour (1848-1930). Pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jones worked on the series for ten years, but never completed all the paintings due to ill health.

The Perseus series is based on a number of Greek myths. Essentially it is a heroic tale of knight-errantry and the triumph of good over evil. Perseus, son of the God Zeus is sent to rescue the beautiful Andromeda and kill the Gorgon Medusa. The legend has been popular in art since antiquity. Rubens, Titian and Delacroix all painted aspects of it. Burne-Jones depicts the main episodes to form a coherent and engaging narrative.

Image courtesy of Joe Low.

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