Edward Burne Jones walk by tony Clayton


Magnificent Dreamer

Presented by Antony Clayton

Sunday 6th July, 2008, 3pm

"I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never
was, never will be – in a light better than any light that ever shone – in
a land no one can define or remember, only desire – and the forms divinely

Meet at the main entrance to Kensington Central Library in Hornton Street,
W8, opposite the Town Hall (nearest Underground station, High Street
Kensington). Look for the man holding a Burne-Jones catalogue, who will
conduct you on a walk that will stop at two of Burne-Jones's houses in
Kensington, pay homage to the artist's colony in Melbury Road – where many
of his friends lived – and conclude at the site of his house and studio,
The Grange.

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98) was born in Birmingham but spent his most
productive years as an artist in London, where he worked with William
Morris and was an associate of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Steeped in
literary subject matter, the otherworldly and dreamlike quality of his art
was enhanced by the melancholy appearance of his androgynous figures, often
sensuously languorous and contemplative. Through his paintings and
drawings he articulated, more than any other Victorian painter, the
nostalgia for an older England, the vital mystical and psychic power of
Arthurian legend and the intensity of his anti-materialist philosophy.
Burne-Jones believed that from the urbanised, industrialised, degraded land
a new more beautiful and spiritual world would emerge represented
symbolically by King Arthur awakening from his centuries-long slumber in

The walk will last around two hours, and a suitable hostelry will be
visited afterwards.

Antony Clayton is the author of Subterranean City, London's Coffee Houses,
Decadent London and The Folklore of London (to be published in the summer
of 2008).

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