Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Beguiling of Merlin
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (British, 1833-1898)
Beguiling of Merlin, 1872-7
Oil on canvas 186-111 cm.
National Museums Liverpool - Lady Lever Gallery
It's normal to find different versions of art images in the web due to a multitude of copying, potentially bad photography and scanning. I tend to trust that the institution that owns a work will have the better quality image, or should have the better quality as well as most true to life (meaning color and tone) that you'll find. I've included 2 versions of the same painting here, but the quirky thing is, they were both found on the National Museums Liverpool's (who owns the painting) website.
I'm inclined to believe that the image on the left is the more true, but I still find the discrepancy very odd. Of course, finding the best image on the museum website is not always true, see wikipedia's version.
As for the image, Edward Burne-Jones was greatly influenced by the early Pre-Raphaelites such as Dante Gabriel Rosetti but evolved into his own artist. While using well-known stories as subject matter the focus of Burne-Jones' painting was beauty and sensuality.