Edward Burne-Jones, 'Dorigen of Bretagne Longing for the Safe Return of her Husband'

Edward Burne-Jones, 'Dorigen of Bretagne Longing for the Safe Return of her Husband'

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98)
'Dorigen of Bretagne Longing for the Safe Return of her Husband'
1871
Bodycolour
Museum no. CAI 10
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

Burne-Jones and his Pre-Raphaelite associates were fascinated by medieval literature. This illustration to Chaucer's Franklin's Tale shows Dorigen of Bretagne watching for the return of her husband's boat across the treacherous sea. Chaucer describes how Dorigen falls to her knees because she is trembling with fear; Burne-Jones uses this posture to emphasise her watchfulness in an unusually elongated composition.