Pan and Psyche, c.1872-1874
Oil on canvas, 24 x 21 5/8 inches (61 x 55 cm)
Burne-Jones's favorite subjects were graceful girls, angels, gods and heroes, generally sad-looking, thoughtful or asleep. Grace and langour rather than fast action gives an unearthly remoteness to his paintings. Some of his many important pictures are The Garden of the Hesperides, Love Among the Ruins and The Golden Stairs at the Tate Gallery, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (at the Tate and at Birmingham), The Brazen Tower at Oxford, Merlin and Nimue and a study for The Wheel of Fortune at the V&A as well as Cupid's Hunting Fields and The Mill, Sponsa de Libano at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and the watercolour St George and the Dragon at the William Morris Gallery. Series include The Briar Rose (Buscot Park, Farringdon UK), Pygmalion and the Image ( Birmingham) and The Perseus Series (Southampton). As mentioned, his characters tend to be thoughtful or wistful rather than emotional, but there are some striking exceptions - The Beguiling of Merlin (Port Sunlight, UK), The Depths of the Sea (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University) and Pan and Psyche .