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Pygmalion and the Image - Sketch for 'Pygmalion seeing the Image come to Life'

Pygmalion and the Image - Sketch for 'Pygmalion seeing the Image come to Life', 1867

Pencil on tracing paper, laid down.
114mm x 84mm
Bequest of J R Holliday, 1927.

Accession Number:



Study for 1927P623 in reverse. Outline sketch of Pygmalion entering doorway and seeing the Image (statue) come to life.


Exhibition History

2004-05 Laing Art Gallery


A E Whitley. Catalogue of Drawings. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: 1939. p. 92.
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. 78, B577.

Research Information:

This design for Pygmalion is nearly identical with 1927P623, but rougher and reversed. Part of 1927P623 appears to have been traced from this study, such as the figure of Pygmalion himself, which would account for the reversal. However, it is very difficult to tell with certainty, which side of the tracing paper is the pencil drawing.

In most of the traced studies for 'The Earthly Paradise' illustrations, the paper is drawn on one side only, and further refinements were made to the compositions by tracing on another sheet over the first drawing, rather than by the usual technique of transferring tracings (which requires the back of the drawing to be redrawn over). In this particular study, the technique seems to have been used for the figure of Pygmalion only, and the remainder of the design was merely copied.