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Maria Zambaco in Traditional Greek Costume

Maria Zambaco in Traditional Greek Costume, 1867 - 1868

Black chalk and pencil on thick wove paper.
561mm x 388mm
Presented by Subscribers, 1903.

Accession Number:



A half-length portrait of a young woman with head slightly bent in reflective pose, and wearing Renaissance-type dress.


Exhibition History

1975-76 Hayward Gallery, London; Southampton City Art Gallery; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
1985-86 Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery; Stoke-on-Trent Museum & Art Gallery


A E Whitley. Catalogue of Drawings. Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery: 1939. p.104.
Elisa Korb with John Christian and Tessa Sidey. Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Dan Giles, Ltd., London: 2007. p. 76, B513.

Research Information:

This drawing had been identified by Ina Taylor as a portrait of Agnes Macdonald, sister -in-law of the artist and later Lady Poynter. However, photos and other images of Agnes do not match the facial features of this particular woman. This woman's features are remarkably identical to known photos, paintings and drawings of Maria Cassavetti Zambaco, a sculptress of Greek descent, who was Burne-Jones's mistress at the time this drawing was produced. There are a number of images of Zambaco in traditional dress by other leading artists of the day, particularly G.F. Watts.