Two Angels—An Escutcheon Design for the Emblems of the Apostles, before 1872, by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898). Graphite, watercolour, gouache, two joined sheets of paper pasted on thinboard support, 240 x 1114 mm (9 7/8 x 43 7/8 inches). For the Emblems of the Apostles in the Nativity stained glass windows series, in the Chapel at Castle Howard, 1872. Provenance: bought as "Circle of Burne-Jones. Design for an angel frieze," Lot 490, Bellman's, 27th June 2012.

Commentary by Paul Crowther

We subsequently identified the work as a design by Burne-Jones himself, used several times —as a decorative feature in the Nativity windows series in the Chapel of Castle Howard, north Yorkshire. Burne-Jones's account book dated 27th November 1872 notes "2 bronze angels on Castle Howard £8." The studies for the Emblems of the Apostles which the present feature subtends ("4 Evangelistic beasts" as Burne-Jones calls them in his account book) are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Nativity windows were commissioned by George Howard (Earl of Carlisle, 1843-1911). He was a close friend of Burne-Jones.

You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art and and the National Gallery of Slovenia and the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (2) and link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Crowther, Paul. Awakening Beauty: The Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art. Exhibition catalogue. Ljubljana: National Gallery of Slovenia; Galway: Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, 2014. No. 11.

Last modified 8 December 2014