This design is a finished drawing in coloured pastel of the East window of St. Martin's Church, Brampton, Cumbria. The stained glass scheme at Brampton is one of Morris & Co's masterpieces. After the windows were completed, Burne-Jones used coloured chalks to transform his design into this highly finished work.

The pelican feeding its young with drops of blood from its breast is a Christian emblem for the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The nest sits on top of a highly stylised tree with sinuous curves. In the 20th century, the art historian Nikolaus Pevsner published this design as a precursor of Art Nouveau.


  • Title: Design for 'Pelican in her Piety' stained glass
  • Creator: Edward Burne-Jones
  • Date Created: 1881
  • Location Created: London, England
  • Type: design
  • Rights: © William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Physical Dimensions: 172.7 x 57.3 cm
  • Object Number: A136
  • Medium: pencil, coloured chalk and gold on paper
  • Credit line: Gift of Frank Brangwyn, 1936

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