The title of this painting is ‘Evening Quiet’ in Latin. His model, Elizabeth Keene, was the subject of several other of Burne-Jones paintings, along with her sisters and mother. Here, he paints her in a pose inspired by Italian Renaissance portraits, leaning on a balustrade, toying with her ring. The model’s loose gaze implies someone deep in thought, adding to the mood of tranquillity and contemplation.
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 107.9 x 62.2 cm Tate. Bequeathed by Miss Maud Beddington 1940 Photo: © Tate 2018. David Lambert and Joe Humphrys
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.