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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Burne-Jones’

Recently I learned of an image in stained glass also appearing in thread, both based on a design by Burne-Jones.  I couldn’t help but do a bit of digging and learned this:  the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon, was first commissioned in memory of George Minot Dexter (1802-1872) by his son Frederic Dexter. It is located at Trinity Church in the City of Boston.  I’ve had the great pleasure of photographing details over the years.

The window was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, the color harmonies developed by William Morris and the window fabricated in the William Morris & Co studio.

The window was installed at Trinity Church in 1882 in an area known as the baptistry.

William Morris (1834-1896) and Edward Burne Jones (1833-1898)

William Morris (1834-1896) and Edward Burne Jones (1833-1898)

While Morris and Burne Jones would both pass away in the late 1890s, Morris & Co.’s design work and manufacturing would continue for decades at Merton Abbey, a village in Surrey, England where textile printing had taken place since the mid-19th Century.

Sir George Brookman c. 1920

Sir George Brookman c. 1920

While attending an exhibit at the 1900 Paris International Exhibition, and later visiting Merton Abbey in England, Australian mining magnate George Brookman saw Morris tapestries being custom woven for individual and corporate clients.  He also saw original designs, still being used, to reproduce artwork.  After seeing the Burne-Jones cartoon for David’s Charge to Solomon, he commissioned a tapestry to be made of that image.

Known as David giving Solomon directions for building of the Temple, the tapestry would be described as “a spacious and complex weaving of unusual size.  The soft, abundant reds beloved of the [Pre-Raphaelite] Brotherhood were in evidence.  Of especial beauty were the figures clad in silver-threaded armor.” Weavers were Walter Taylor, John Martin and Robert Ellis.

In 1920, Brookman sold the tapestry back to Morris & Co.  May Morris, the daughter of William Morris, would exhibit the tapestry along with other Merton Abbey works at the Detroit Society of Art and Crafts Exhibit.

May Morris (1862-1938)

May Morris (1862-1938)

excerpt from International Studio Magazine, 1922

excerpt from International Studio Magazine, 1922

Newspaper businessman, philanthropist and art benefactor George G. Booth and his wife, Ellen Scripps Booth, would purchase the tapestry to hang in Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where I believe it still hangs to this day.

One design expressed in two different ways sharing one of the most influential stories in human history.

Sources/Additional Reading

Cranbrook Digital Archives

Details for comparison taken from David giving Solomon directions for building of the Temple, photograph by Jack Kausch, copyright Cranbrook Archives.

The William Morris Society in the United States

 

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It is always a treat to walk through Trinity Church in Boston’s Copley Square and to have the opportunity to photograph the architectural features, especially the stained glass windows.  This particular detail of a gold-winged angel is in the Edward Burne-Jones window, Wonder of the Shepherds (1882).  This image is now available as a postcard in the church Book Shop, located in the building undercroft.  You can read more about Burne-Jones’s adoration of angels in this 2006 article by his biographer, Fiona MacCarthy.  Learn more about the Book Shop here.

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Detail from David's Charge to Solomon Stained Glass Window, Trinity Church in Copley Square

Detail from David’s Charge to Solomon Stained Glass Window, Trinity Church in Copley Square, by Burne-Jones and William Morris

Returning to the Trinity Church Book Shop are items with a detail I photographed from David’s Charge to Solomon, a stained glass window located in the church’s baptistry.  The magnificent window was designed by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris Studios in 1882.  These “four angels” are located in the upper left corner of the window.  There they look down upon David, near the end of his days, as he instructs his son Solomon in how to move forward in life as a man and as a leader of his people.

Items currently available are magnets, mugs and postcards.  Coming soon are totes and t-shirts.  Visit the Shop to view these and many more lovely and thought provoking spiritual items at 206 Clarendon Street, Boston, in the heart of Copley Square.  Shipping is possible.  For more Book Shop information, click here.  And to see additional details from the window David’s Charge to Solomon, please check out images 25-32 here.  Better yet, if you’re in the area, take one of the excellent guided tours so that you can see the window firsthand. 😉

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The angel above represents Victory and the angel below represents Sorrow.

In the stained glass window (1878), designed by William Morris and executed by Edward Burne-Jones, the figure centered between these blue-winged angels is St. Catherine of Alexandria.  If you have a chance to research her story, you’ll understand why both sorrow and victory were paired.

The face of St. Catherine is that of Edith Liddell.  Her sister was the inspiration for Alice in the book, Alice in Wonderland.

 

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At least it is the pinks and golds that stand out to me on this hot, hot day as I review these images recently taken of the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon.

At some point I hope to direct you to some of the stories and resources that other have shared with me about the window and the fascinating relationship between Burne-Jones and Morris.

Until then, here a few more images of the parts that create the whole.

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I’m excited to share that now available at The Book Shop at Trinity Church in Copley Square, this mug and two different magnets depicting a photograph I took of the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon.  As described in an earlier post, the window was designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris.  The entire window is of course fantastic but for me, with camera in-hand, it is the light streaming through these angels that draws my eyes.  To see these items and other lovely merchandise, visit the Book Shop in the undercroft (basement) of the church, or you can contact the Shop by phone at 617.536.0944 extension 225.

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This scene is a detail from the Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon, 1882.  The window, designed by Burne-Jones and executed by Morris, is located in the baptistry of Trinity Church in Copley Square. I was drawn to this particular section because of the colors, the incredible drapery of the cloth, and the faces of the women.

The faces of these women and apparently the faces of many of the women in Burne-Jones’s post-1860’s artwork all have a similar look.  They are likely the face of his great love and muse, Maria Zambaco.  She appears to have been the muse for many of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.  This wikipedia article gives a broad overview of the Burne-Jones/Zambaco relationship, but I must say that this Oxford Today article referencing Fiona MacCarthy gives a much richer picture of a complicated man, his many muses and the influence of his art.

Study by Burne-Jones, c. 1870

Study by Burne-Jones, c. 1870

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