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Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women' - Thisbe and Philomela

Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women' - Thisbe and Philomela, 1864

Pencil on toned paper, laid down.
465mm x 485mm
Presented by Subscribers, 1903.

Accession Number:



Design of two women on a garden setting: on left holding a thistle leaf and sword, and on the right holding a scroll inscribed with name of Philomena.


Exhibition History

1980 Fitzwilliam Museum
1984 Whitworth Art Gallery
1992 Mole Antonelliana
1987 Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome


A E Whitley. Catalogue of Drawings. Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery: 1939. p. 133.
A C Sewter . The Stained Glass of William Morris and His Circle. Yale University Press, New Haven: 1975. Vol. I: fig. 203; Vol. II: pp. 45, 207.
Richard Myers and Hilary Myers. William Morris Tiles. Richard Dennis, Somerset: 1996. fig. 130.
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. 64, B58.

Research Information:

This is one of six designs used for the bay window in the Combination Room of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, 1869. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery also has a drapery study for Philomena or Philomela (as Chaucer refers to her), c. 1863 (1904P16).