King's Daughters by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt ARA (1833-1898). 1858/9. Pen and ink on vellum. Source: Bell, facing p. 20. In his account of the artist during the autumn and winter of 1858-59, Malcolm Bell gives some details of the drawing and its context:

While still engaged at Oxford he occupied the intervals of the more ambitious labours in beginning a water-colour of another subject which he has since repeated several times, The Annunciation, and during visits to Little Holland House he did drawings in pen-and-ink on vellum of Kings' Daughters, now in the possession of Lord Lansdowne, Alice la Belle Pelerine, from the "Mort d'Arthur," Going to the Battle, and Sir Galahad, one of the few traces in the artist's work of the influence exercised by Tennyson over the school to which he was affiliated. [21]

Judith Flanders, in her work on the Macdonald sisters (Burne-Jones would marry Georgiana Macdonald in 1860), accepts that this "may show all the sisters," identifying the elaborately costumed figure in the left foreground as Alice Macdonald; the small child nearby in the group with the dog as Edith Macdonald; the central figure as Georgiana herself; the figure to the left of the balcony (upper right-hand corner) as Agnes Macdonald; and the girl with the rabbit at the extreme right as Louisa Macdonald (caption of the picture, following p. 120). The drawing is, in fact, described as a "group likeness" of the sisters in the ODNB (see Morse).

Sources

Bell, Malcolm. Sir Edward Burne-Jones, A Record and Review. 4th ed. London: George Bell & Sons, 1910. Internet Archive. Uploaded by University of California Libraries. Web. 6 July 2014.

Flanders, Judith. A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin. New ed. London: Penguin, 2002. [Review]

Morse, Elizabeth J. "Macdonald sisters (act. 1837–1925)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 6 July 2014.


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Last modified 6 July 2014