Edward Burne-Jones, Frances Graham (1854–1940)

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)


Country House
Mells Manor
Frances Graham (1854–1940)
Signed lower left ‘EBJ’ and dated lower right ‘1875’
Medium and support
Pencil on paper
Overall height: 26 cm, Overall width: 21 cm
Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
Catalogue Number


Frances Graham (1854–1940) was one of eight children, and the fourth of six daughters of William Graham (1817–1885) and Jane Catherine Lowndes (1820–1899). This tender and sympathetic pencil drawing of Frances aged twenty in profile, facing to the viewer’s right, is signed with the artist’s initials in the lower left corner and dated 1875 in the lower right. Although the drawing is not mentioned in any literature of the artist, it may have been among the ‘numerous pencil studies’ of Frances and her sister Agnes which are listed in Burne-Jones’s work record.1 Frances represented the artist’s ideal of female beauty and this drawing may have been made in the context of various studies the artist made for the female figures in Laus Veneris (Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, TWCMS B8145) in 1875 and The Golden Stairs (Tate, London, N04005), which he completed in 1880.2

by Devon Cox


  1. Oliver Garnett, ‘The Letters and Collection of William Graham: Pre-Raphaelite Patron and Pre-Raphaelite Collector’, The Walpole Society, vol. 62, 2000, p. 169.

  2. For an account of the various works by Burne-Jones featuring Frances Graham see John Christian, ‘Portrait of Frances Graham’, in Burne-Jones Catalogue Raisonné, (accessed 14 July 2020).


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