7 7/8 x 5 3/4 in
The sketch probably relates to part of the painting, ‘The Feast of Peleus’ (1873). Based on one of the greatest gatehrings of Greek mythology, the painting depicts the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, to which all of the gods nd goddesses were invited (everyone bar Eris, the goddess of Strife). Evoking Italian art at its most idyllic, the painting depicts a host of mythological figures, suspended in timeless arcadia. This particular figure - typically, for an artist whose muse, Maria Zambaco, posed as St Mark - appears to have taken on a different gender.
A fine example of Burne-Jones' figure painting, the work is monumental for the PRB, exhibiting the movement's involvement with subjects of ancient myth and medieval romance. A vivid reflection of Burne-Jones’ visually acute, creative mind and exceptional proof of his working process, this sketch appear to testify to the practice of building up paintings one component at a time, before amalgamating the evolving pieces into a final, larger whole. Striking, and decorative in style, this sketch is a compelling example of Burne-Jones' practice.