Initial charcoal sketches set this scene by the sea, but after visiting Tuscany in 1870, Edward Burne-Jones placed the gigantic Car of Love in the winding lanes of Siena. This appears to be the final, fully worked-up drawing on which the unfinished painting, (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) is based.

The bound and anguished figures forced to draw the Car inexorably onward were bitter reminders of Burne-Jones’s doomed love affair with the beautiful Maria Zambaco in 1870, famous for her ‘glorious red hair and almost phosphorescent white skin’.

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  • Title: The Car of Love, or Love's Wayfaring
  • Creator: Edward Burne-Jones
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w2112 x h3391 x d160 mm (Without frame)
  • Artist biography: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet was born in 1833. He was a British artist and designer associated with the later period of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His early paintings show the inspiration of Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He worked closely with William Morris on a range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company, and was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in England. Burne-Jones also designed ceramic tiles, jewellery, tapestries, mosaics and book illustration, including designing woodcuts for the Kelmscott Press's Chaucer in 1896. Burne-Jones died in 1898.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Viscount Leverhulme, 1924
  • External Link: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
  • Medium: pastel, brush drawing and charcoal

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