The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1975. First edition. Quarto (10 1/2 inches tall), original illustrated stiff paper wrappers. Gentle crease to lower right wrapper, small sticker abrasion to blank rear wrapper. About Fine. Item #980
"I MEAN BY A PICTURE A BEAUTIFUL ROMANTIC DREAM OF SOMETHING THAT NEVER WAS, NEVER WILL BE—IN A LIGHT BETTER THAN ANY LIGHT THAT EVER SHONE" Lovely 1975 exhibition catalogue of "the most comprehensive exhibition of the work of Edward Burne-Jones ever to be held." This exhibition, sponsored by the Arts Council of Great Britain and curated by John Christian, appeared in galleries in London, Southampton, and Birmingham in late 1975 and early 1976. With a brief Foreword, by Robin Campbell (Director of Art) and Joanna Drew (Director of Exhibitions), reminding readers of the original "revolutionary nature and aims of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their dissent from the accepted canons of academic painting of the period." The catalogue of the exhibition, issued in decorated wrappers (based on an 1895 Burne-Jones design for John Ruskin), is illustrated throughout with a frontispiece, a bordered title page, and four color plates, in addition to numerous black-and-white illustrations. The Foreword is followed by an Introduction, a Chronology, a list of previous Exhibitions, and a Bibliography. The Introduction describes a growing revival of interest in Burne-Jones and the Pre-Raphaelites and concludes with a famous quote: "I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be—in a light better than any light that ever shone—in a land no one can define or remember, only desire—and the forms divinely beautiful." The catalogue, detailing 387 items, demonstrates the "prolific" output of Burne-Jones's "immense life work," divided into a rough chronology: Birmingham and Oxford (before 1856), Early Pen and Ink Drawings (c.1857-1861), Early Decorative Work (1857-c.1864), Paintings (1865-1870), Paintings (c.1870-c.1890), Later Decorative Work (c.1865-1898), Portraits and Landscape, Illustration, Minor Works, Caricature, Miscellanea.