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Caricature - Composite Drawing of a Stunner

Caricature - Composite Drawing of a Stunner, 1861 - 1863

Pencil on paper.
212mm x 90mm
Purchased in 1980.

Accession Number:



Both recto and verso are three sections. The top portion of recto: a woman after Rossetti. Her second section: a chubby torso with waistcoat and jacket. Third section shows very short legs. Upside down is the face of a man in spectacles.


Exhibition History

2007-08 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Leighton House Museum, London


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. 63, B31.

Research Information:

The auctioneers at Sotheby's London suggest that these Pre-Raphaelite ephemera were drawn by Burne-Jones and his friends, including William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown, after Burne-Jones had moved to Great Russell Street in 1861. Three hands certainly appear to have been involved, with Rossetti possibly sketching the head or someone parodying his style, and Burne-Jones completing the middle or bottom section.

The envelope in which they have been preserved bears the inscription 'Early meetings at Burne-Jones in Gt. Russell Street' and the name (in another hand) 'Lucy Falkener'[sic]. Lucy Faulkner was the sister of Charles Faulkner, a contemporary of Morris and Burne-Jones at Oxford and a founding member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

This drawing was produced by folding over and hiding each contributor's part to reveal finally an incongruous whole. The Surrealists were later to play such artistic games under the title of 'cadavre exquis' or 'exquisite corpse'.