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Georgiana Burne-Jones, nee Macdonald (1840-1920)

Georgiana Burne-Jones, nee Macdonald (1840-1920), 1863

Bodycolour on paper (formerly supported on paper/linen-covered wooden strainer)
354mm x 265mm
G.M.J./Aetat: suae: xxii/ pinxit E.B.J./ AD MDCCCLXIII
Presented by Colin MacInnes, 1956.

Accession Number:



Portrait of a woman in full-face, crossed hands, in heavy costume.


Exhibition History

2007-08 Birmingham Museums 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. 73, B412.

Research Information:

This unique portrait in Burne-Jones's oeuvre, was one of his first attempts, if not the first, at formal portraiture. His wife, Georgiana, whom he had recently married, was the sitter, and her appearance belies her age of just twenty-two. The entire composition, including the inscriptions above the sitter, are highly reminiscent of both Renaissance and Northern Renaissance portraiture. While the sitter's pose and costume mirror work of Italian artists, to a certain extent, the portrait seems indebted to those great portraitists of the Henrican, Marian & Elizabethan courts, such as: Joos van Cleeve, Hans Eworth, and Nicholas Hilliard.