A page from the facsimile edition of Burne-Jones' Flower Book, one of 38 watercolour designs reproduced by Henri Piazza et Cie, for the Fine Art Society, London in 1905. The 'Star of Bethlehem' is actually the flowering part of the Prussian asparagus (Ornithogalum umbellatum). While it bears the same title as Burne-Jones's 1880-81 painting for Birmingham's collection, compositionally it is completely different. The angel itself is based on a contemporary image Burne-Jones had worked on for mosaics to appear at St. Paul's-Within-the-Walls, Rome, of the Angel Uriel (Private Collection, 1882-84).
© Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery