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Between and Mortarboard


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Dorigen of Bretaigne Longing for the Safe Return of Her Husband

Accession Number
1966/2.3

Title
Dorigen of Bretaigne Longing for the Safe Return of Her Husband

Artist(s)
Edward Burne-Jones

Object Creation Date
circa 1870

Medium & Support
graphite on off-white wove paper

Dimensions
14 3/4 in. x 19 15/16 in. ( 37.5 cm x 50.7 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Edward Burne-Jones
England, 1833–1898
Dorigen of Bretaigne Longing for the Safe Return of Her Husband
circa 1870
Graphite
Museum purchase, 1966/2.3
The story of Dorigen of Bretaigne comes from “The Franklin’s Tale” in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The young wife is consumed by fear that her husband, Arvigus, will meet his death on the rocky coast of Brittany outside her window. Courted by Aurelius, who loves her, Dorigen agrees to become Aurelius’s lover if he can remove the rocks. With the help of a magician whose spell submerges the rocks in the form of a particularly high tide, Aurelius comes to claim Dorigen only to find that Arvigus has safely returned. The conventions of chivalry triumph: Aurelius withdraws and Dorigen and her husband are reunited.
Burne-Jones was a major figure in the late nineteenth-century Aesthetic movement that championed art for art’s sake in both fine and decorative arts. He also reflected his contemporaries’ interest in early Italian art and fascination with medieval art. This image is a preparatory drawing for a watercolor of the same subject now in the holdings of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
(6/28/10)

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Figures
Victorian
interiors
music
seas
standing
window
woman

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved