Wednesday, 22 September 2010


19/9/10, Lower Belvedere, Vienna

A special exhibition of symbolist works arranged around Burne-Jones's monumental Death of Arthur, which he worked on for decades and never finished. It's full of tall, draped, angular figures, almost all turned towards the recumbent figure of the king in his temple-cum-tomb in Avalon.

There's Burne Jones's Sleeping Beauty sequence which obviuously made an impression on me at the time since I wrote it down in my notebook but which now conjures up no memories at all.

There's Leighton's Flaming June, whose seductive appeal lies partly in the beauty of his sleeping model, partly in her bright orange drapes and the sensuous curve of her thigh which fills the centre of the frame but mainly, I think, in the gold of the sunlight on the sea in the distance which positively shouts at you to be joyful and dream of some Mediterranean paradise.

Also Walter Crane's book illustrations, and a Rossetti of a Roman widow, all long neck and impossibly long tapering hands.

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