This exquisite portrait, tentatively identified as Margaret Burne-Jones, resonates with a profound intimacy and immediacy. The young lady, depicted in a modest attire, gazes intently at the viewer, her eyes conveying an eloquent depth that is accentuated by the nuanced brushwork and the delicate play of light and shadow.

The artistry of the portrait lies not only in the refined detail of the sitter’s features but also in the atmospheric background—a canvas rich with a textured interplay of tones, where the artist’s adept stippling and scratching techniques lend a dynamic and enigmatic quality to the work.

Veiled in a soft haze reminiscent of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sfumato technique, the figure’s outline merges delicately with this dynamic background.

This portrait is not merely framed but is enshrined behind glass within an authentic Renaissance Revival giltwood masterpiece, echoing the bespoke aesthetic sensibilities and extant frames of Edward Burne-Jones. The frame, reminiscent of the luxurious Italian cassetta, boasts ornate beading and elaborate raised candelabrum motifs adorning the recessed and punched side panels, their craftsmanship speaking to the high status of the artwork it encases.

‘I like a picture so much better under glass, it is like a kind of aethereal varnish.  It is wonderful to me how people don’t see that a picture under glass is so much more beautiful than without it – they are so insensitive.’ – Edward Burne Jones

The choice of such an opulent frame speaks volumes about the painting’s significance and the reverence it commanded within its original milieu. While the artist’s identity remains shrouded in mystery, the stylistic cues and medium suggest a potential attribution to the Burne-Jones family—possibly Edward or Phillip. The unconventional medium observed here hints at experimentation, likely venturing beyond their customary practices for a work of personal significance, which may now elude definitive attribution by current connoisseurs.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

Pre-Raphaelite Portrait of a Young Lady

Stock Number: 72821

Mixed media in original giltwood frame with candelabra motif.
Possibly Margaret Burne-Jones Daughter of Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones & Georgiana Lady Burne-Jones.
  • Framed Height : 76 cm (30 inches)
  • Framed Width : 63 cm (25 inches)
  • Canvas Height: 51 cm (20 inches)
  • Canvas Width : 38 cm (15 inches)


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Approximate Dimensions

  • Framed Height : 76 cm (30 inches)
  • Framed Width : 63 cm (25 inches)
  • Canvas Height: 51 cm (20 inches)
  • Canvas Width : 38 cm (15 inches)


Period & Circa Date:




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