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Pencil Drawing - The Song of Solomon - 'Awake, O North Wind!'

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1927P463
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1876 - 1876

Maker Information

Artist:Sir Edward Burne-Jones - View biography for Sir Edward Burne-Jones


This project of 1876 was described by Burne-Jones as, 'five designs from the Song of Solomon - for paintings on panel some day'. This particular scene was executed in both embroidery by the Royal School of Needlework, and in watercolour by the artist in 1891 (now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). This drawing is the design for the third composition, depicting Solomon's bride of Lebanon. Malcolm Bell, Burne-Jones's first chronicler, identifies the likely sources of these highly formalized, hieratic compositions, in engravings by Baldini and Pollaiuolo after Botticelli, especially the edition of Dante published by Niccolo di Lorenzo della Magra in 1481. The animation of 'Sponsa di Libano' is a welcome relief to the otherwise rather solemn groups of figures: even with the sharp bright draughtsmanship of a sheet like this, one can understand why in 1878 the 'Art Journal' expressed the hope that Burne-Jones would one day discover "that all mankind, especially womankind, do not walk around the world like hired mutes at a funeral."

Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
School/Style:St Helen's Darley Dale
Medium:Pencil on stiff toned paper.


Height:356 mm
Width:214 mm