Cloth binding for ‘Sir Edward Burne-Jones’

Joseph William Gleeson White


Cloth binding with print design

7½ x 5½ inches

This Art Nouveau design exemplifes Gleeson White's design-work at its most sophisticated. The elongated trees appearing on the front cover also feature on the spine, so creating visual unities between parts of the book. The deployment of a briar-motif, abstracted in the form of Art Nouveau arabesques, creates connections between the binding and the book's contents by alluding to Burne-Jones's convoluted, spikey imagery in The Legend of Briar Rose (The Sleeping Beauty), a series of four panels painted 1885-90 (Buscot House, Faringdon, UK). At the time of publication this motif was almost Burne-Jones's moniker, and Gleeson White cleverly announces the subject of the book while subsuming it in an abstract composition.

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