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King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid - Cartoon Study

Sir Edward Burne-Jones

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid - Cartoon Study
4 0 c m
actual image size: 14cm x 32cm


This is a full size prepatory cartoon for the oil painting exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1884 and now in the Tate Gallery. Although the subject was set down as a ballad in Thomas Percy's 'Reliques of English Poetry' (1612), Burne-Jones's inspiration was more likely to have been Tennyson's poem 'The Beggar Maid'. He seems to have turned to the seventeenth-century source, however, for this striking image of the beggar maid Penelophon's bewilderment at the king's proposal of marriage:

The beggar blusheth scarlet red,
And straight again as pale as lead,
But not a word at all was said,
She was in such amaze.

Image Details

2910mm x 1320mm
Bodycolour, watercolour, chalks and pastel with gold medium and gum arabic
Presented by Col Rex Benson through the National Art Collections Fund, 1947.
Accession Number

© Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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