Earthly Paradise : Cupid and Psyche Fireplace Tiles

Edward Burne-Jones and Walter Crane Collaboration

. . . but he turned no more,
And when into the moonlit night he came
From out her sight he vanished like a flame
~William Morris, The Earthly Paradise

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Edward Burne-Jones Cupid and Psyche full fireplace panels.

Edward Burne-Jones conceived the Cupid and Psyche Frieze for the home of his friend, George Howard. When Burne-Jones and Howard met in April 1865, Burne-Jones was working on woodcuts for William Morris's The Earthly Paradise, their first illuminated book project. Burne-Jones described the project very enthusiastically, so much so that when Howard and his wife decided to build a new home in 1868, he contracted with design firm Morris, Marshall, and Faulkner to have Burne-Jones paint a series of friezes on the theme of Cupid and Psyche.

Burne-Jones began the project enthusiastically, making use of the woodcut designs he had made for The Early Paradise. The dimensions of the paintings would not be uniform, but accommodate the shape of the dining room. After the first two paintings, though, he became involved in several other projects and the work on Cupid and Psyche was ever put off.

By 1877, the Howards were still without a dining room and Burne-Jones and Howard agreed that Walter Crane would take over where Burne-Jones had left off. Walter Crane was happy to move beyond book illustrations to "fine art", but it was precisely his skill at an illustrator that moved Burne-Jones to choose him to finish the project.

The canvases taken to Crane's studio were in various stages, some nearly blank and some advanced. Crane tried to mimic the existing style on those canvases where Burne-Jones had made progress, but on the others took great liberties. Burne-Jones felt the younger man was straying too far from original concepts, so the canvases were carted back to Burne-Jones' studio and reworked again, first in collaboration with Crane and then with his assistant, Thomas Rook. They were finally completed 10 years after they were commissioned, in 1881.

These fireplace panels are based on the seventh and the eighth in the series.

There is also a 30-inch (five-tile) version that could be a good choice for smaller a bedroom fireplace, or on each side of a vanity.

    Title: Walter Crane and Edward Burne-Jones: Cupid and Psyche

    Panels: The tiles are shown in two sizes, a 6 tile small panel, and as 23 tiles in a 2 vertical panels.

    Tiles are 4.25 or 6 inches.

      Pricing for Cupid and Psyche Fireplace Tile Panels

      Single panel

      Three 4.25 Inch Tiles: $390

      Six 4.25 Inch Tiles: $660

      Not shown: Five 4.25 Inch Tiles: $505

      Two panels

      Six 6-inch Inch Tiles: $780

      Twelve 6-Inch Tiles: $660

      Not shown:

      Ten 6-inch Inch Tiles: $1110