This painting is one of four paintings in a series by Burne-Jones entitled The Legend of Briar Rose
. These paintings are scenes from Sleeping Beauty, and this, the final painting, is of the title character and her sleeping attendants. Burne-Jones used his daughter Margaret as his model for Briar Rose, and used a William Morris poem to accompany the original painting: Here lies the hoarded love, the key
To all the treasure that shall be;
Come fated hand the gift to take
And smite this sleeping world awake.
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones
The Rose Bower
Date of work
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.