The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
~T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Burne-Jones revisited the theme of Briar Rose over half his lifetime. These Briar Rose art tile panels based on the series by paintings Edward Burne-Jones. In addition to paintings, Jones also designed a series of nine two-tile Sleeping Beauty panels for a bedroom fireplace at 'The Hill', the home of painter Myles Birket Foster in the early days of Morris, Marshall, and Faulkner.
Morris and Co. designs often were created for one medium and then adapted and modified for another. Ten years after the initial fireplace tiles, he began a series of three small but haunting paintings, and then four larger works that he worked on intermittently from 1870 to 1890. The series was displayed with verses by William Morris:
In the original study for The Briar Wood some of the knights appear to be more feminine than masculine. Burne-Jones modelled the knights from women: Jane Morris, Georgiana (his wife), and Maria Zambaco, the Greek beauty who later became his paramour.
The fateful slumber floats and flows
About the tangle of the rose.
But lo the fated hand and heart
To rend the slumberous curse apart.
The threat of war, the hope of peace
The Kingdom's peril and increase.
Sleep on, and bide the latter day
When fate shall take her chains away.
The maiden pleasance of the land
Knoweth no stir of voice or hand,
No cup the sleeping waters fill,
The restless shuttle lieth still.
Here lies the hoarded love the key
To all the treasure that shall be.
Come, fated hand, the gift to take
And smite the sleeping world awake.
Unlike the fairy tale tales painted for 'The Hill', the Briar Rose series does not tell a sequential story but shows the sleepers as seen by the prince as he makes his way through the castle to The Rose Bower.
Briar Rose Story Tile Installation
Panels: 8 tiles, in 4 two-tile panels.
Size: 6 inch square tiles (15.4 cm)
Thickness: 3/8 inch (1 cm)
Weight: 11.5 ounces (326 grams) each tile
One panel (2 tiles) $165
Set of 8: $620
Minimum Order: One panel