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EDWARD COLEY BURNE-JONES

Quest for the Holy Grail Tapestries - The Failure of Sir Gawaine; Sir Gawaine and Sir Uwaine at the Ruined Chapel (III)
 

Quest for the Holy Grail Tapestries - The Failure of Sir Gawaine; Sir Gawaine and Sir Uwaine at the Ruined Chapel (III), 1895 - 1896

Medium:
High warp tapestry, wool and silk weft on cotton warp.
Dimensions:
2890mm x 2440mm
Provenance:
Purchased by public subscription from Morris & Co. 1907.

Accession Number:

1907M130

Description:

Third narrative panel from Holy Grail series. Sir Uwaine is on dappled horse to left. Next to him is Sir Gawaine who turns to face an angel, standing infront of chapel door. In background are trees and stream, in foreground flowering plants and brambles.

 

Exhibition History

1981 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
1998 -99 Metrpolitan Museum of Art, New York; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery; Musee d'Orsay, Paris
2002-03 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Bibliography:

Lady Georgiana Burne-Jones. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones. Macmillan, London: 1904. Vol. II: p. 208.
Linda Parry. William Morris. Victoria & Albert Museum, London: 1996. p. 232.
Christopher Wood. Burne-Jones. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London: 1998. pp. 116-117.
Nicholas Tromans. Pre-Raphaelites and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. Royal Academy of Arts, London: 2003. pp. 242-243.

Research Information:

One of 3 woven in 1895-6 for the drawing room of Compton Hall, Laurence Hodson's house near Wolverhampton. Sold back to Morris & Co. by Hodson in 1906, and bought by public subscription by BM&AG in 1907.

The Holy Grail first appeared in a written text by Chretien de Troyes's Old French romance, 'Le Conte del Graal' or 'Perceval', circa 1180. The Old French romances were translated into other European languages, including Wolfram von Eschenbach's 'Parzifal' (early 13th century) and Sir Thomas Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur' (late 15th century). The two knights in this tapestry, stop to rest and pray at a deserted chapel. The scene shows an angel forbidding them to enter the chapel as they had previously led sinful lives. From the chapel shines a brilliant light, suggesting the presence of the Grail.