Art: An Escapist's Dreamworld

Modern taste rediscovers the work of Edward Burne-Jones

Forty years ago, if any right-thinking Modernist art critic had been asked to list a few FFAs (formerly famous artists) who had not a prayer of return from the elephants' graveyard of reputation, who were buried forever without the least chance of a joyous resurrection or even a polite exhumation, the name of Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones would surely have come up. The most eminent of Victorians: by the 1880s, an absolute pillar of the British cultural establishment, admired by every connoisseur from John Ruskin on down. The leader of the second wave of that peculiarly English art movement, Pre-Raphaelitism. The...

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