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Troy Triptych

Troy Triptych, 1872 - 1898

Oil on canvas.
2730mm x 2946mm
Presented by Phillip Burne-Jones, 1922.

Accession Number:



A triptych consisting of three large upper panels, three lower panels, and four predella.


Exhibition History

1990 Musee du Louvre, Paris
1998-99 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery


Julia Cartwright (Mrs Ady). Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart.: His Life and Work. Art Annual: 1894. p. 16.
Georgiana Burne-Jones. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones. Macmillan, London: 1904. Vol. I: p. 308.
A E Whitley. Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Paintings. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: 1930. pp. 30-31.
Penelope Marcus. Burne-Jones: The Paintings, Graphic and Decorative Work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones . Arts Council of Great Britain: 1975. p. 48, fig. 2.
Stephen Wildman. Visions of Love and Life. Art Services International: 1995. p. 328, fig. 107.

Research Information:

This large oil painting, more properly a polyptych than a triptych as it is often called, was begun in 1872 and remained unfinished through to the artist's death in June 1898. It may be the final triptych itself, a view favoured by former Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery curator Stephen Wildman, or perhaps a large-scale study for an actual three-dimensional, mixed media triptych/polyptych, more favoured by Burne-Jones scholars John Christian and Elisa Korb.

The panels depict the following scenes: [top vertical] 'Judgement of Paris', 'The Abduction of Helen', and 'Helen Captive among the Burning Flames of Troy'; [bottom horizontal] 'Venus Concordia', 'Feast of Peleus', and 'Venus Discordia'; [bottom vertical] 'Wheel of Fortune', 'Fame Overthrowing Fortune', 'Oblivion Conquering Fame' and 'Love Subduing Oblivion'; [top 'bronze' medals] Greek princesses 'Oenone' and 'Iphegenia', and Trojan princesses 'Polyxena' and 'Cassandra'.