The Perseus Series: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones


245 x  170mm / 64pp
ISBN: 978-1-911408-37-6


Southampton City Art Gallery/Dr Anne Anderson


  • Burne-Jones is a celebrated British artist closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
  • A major retrospective of his paintings will be on show at Tate Britain from 24 October 2018 to 24 February 2019. Six of Southampton’s ‘Perseus Series’ will form the centrepiece of the exhibition.

This book showcases one of the treasures of Southampton City Art Gallery’s nationally-important Designated fine art collection: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones’s Perseus Series.

Burne-Jones (1833–98) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. In 1875 the politician Lord Arthur Balfour commissioned Burne-Jones, whose work was often inspired by mythology and legend, to create a series of paintings for his London home. The artist chose to re-tell the story of the Perseus myth in William Morris’s poem ‘The Earthly Paradise’ and worked on the project for ten years but it was never completed. Southampton City Art Gallery has ten full-size studies in gouache, ‘cartoons’ which Burne-Jones made to perfect his designs before beginning the final paintings in oil.

The book includes an essay about Burne-Jones, the commission and an account of the epic Perseus story with detailed descriptions of each of the works in narrative form.


About the author

With a first degree in archaeology and a PhD in English, Dr Anne Anderson was a senior lecturer in Art and Design History at Southampton Solent University for 14 years. During 2009-2010, Anne worked on Closer to Home the reopening exhibition at Leighton House Museum, Kensington. Anne also curated Under the Greenwood: Picturing the British Tree for St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington (2013). Anne’s career as an international speaker has taken her all over the world, including Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. She is currently a course tutor at the V&A.