It is debated whether this pre-Raphaelite painting is purely decorative or if the female figures are spirits in an enchanted dream. They linger on the golden stairs dressed in ivory, holding trumpets and violins with birds above.
The Golden Stairs
269.2 x 116.8 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 269.2 x 116.8 cm ® Tate, London
An English painter, Sir Edward Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham and educated at Oxford, where he met his lifelong friend William Morris. He studied briefly under Dante Gabriel Rossetti but soon outgrew his influence despite retaining great respect for him. Burne-Jones later visited Italy with John Ruskin, seeing works by Botticelli and Mantegna which had a profound influence on him. From 1878, Burne-Jones gained a European reputation and influenced both continental Symbolism and Art Nouveau.