Our Collection

The Perseus Series

In 1875 the politician Lord Arthur Balfour commissioned Burne-Jones to create a series of paintings for the music room of his London home. Burne-Jones’s  work was often inspired by mythology and legend and presented an imaginative world focused on beauty of form and spirit. A re-telling of the Perseus myth in William Morris’s poem ‘The Earthly Paradise’ provided the subject.  Burne-Jones worked on the project for ten years but it was never completed. Southampton Art Gallery has ten full-size studies in gouache, ‘cartoons’ which Burne-Jones made to perfect his designs before beginning the final paintings in oil.