SIR EDWARD BURNE-JONES

Burne-Jones met William Morris at Oxford and became his lifelong friend and longest collaborator. They set up house together in Red Lion Square and one of the earliest pieces of painted furniture, Morris’ most conspicuous contribution to the early production of his firm, was a wardrobe designed by Phillip Webb and painted by Burne-Jones with an episode from Chaucer’s ‘Prioress’ Tale’. In 1857 Burne-Jones started designing stained glass for Powell’s of Whitefriars, he also worked for Lavers and Barraud; from the founding of the Morris firm in 1861 he was continually occupied with stained glass designs, tiles, gesso-work, embroideries and tapestries for them, which he consistently complained of as ill-renumerated. One of the last tasks for Morris was the fifty seven illustrations for the Kelmscott Chaucer (1895), completed when Morris was already mortally ill.