Orpheus and Eurydice

Three-Panel Tile Border Scroll

based on the Burne-Jones decoration of the Graham piano

And when suddenly
the god stopped her and, with anguish in his cry,
uttered the words: 'He has turned round' --
she comprehended nothing and said softly: 'Who?'

~Rainer Marie Rilke, Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes.

Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Burne-Jones designed and decorated the Graham piano in 1879-1880. It was a gift for Graham's daughter, Frances. Burne-Jones had a special love of pianos, writing to Kat Faulkner, "I have been wanting for years to reform pianos, since they are as it were the very altar of homes and a second hearth to people."

Application: These tiles are suitable for interior use and can be installed on walls, backsplashes, showers and any interior application. They won't stand up to outdoor freezes and thaws.

Orpheus and Eurydice, a three-panel tile border scroll based on a piano decoration by Burne-Jones

Title: Orpheus and Eurydice panel

Sizes: 4.25 inch and 6 pinch tiles

Number of tiles: 3


12.75 inch panel (three 4.25 inch tiles): $400

18 inch panel (three 6 inch tiles): $610

Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus was given a lyre by his father, Apollo. Orpheus learned to play so well that even Apollo was surprised. Nothing could resist his music, neither friends nor enemies, neither bird nor beast.

Orpheus fell in love with Eurydice, but on their marriage day, Hymen, the god of marriage, predicted that their perfection would not last. Shortly thereafter, Eurydice was wandering in the forest with nymphs. A shepherd, Aristaus, saw her and made advances toward her. When she tried to flee, he chased her. Eurydice esaped him, but was bitten by a snake and died instantly.

Orpheus sang and everything living and not living in the world was touched by his grief and sorrow.

Apollo advised Orpheus to descend to the underworld, Hades, to recover his wife. Protected by the gods, he went to Hades where he charmed Cerberus, the hound of Hades who prevents its inhabitants from leaving. Finally, he prsented himself to Pluto and his wife, Persephone.

Hades heart was melted by the sounds of Orpheus's lyre and released Eurydice, with one condition. Eurydice would follow Orpheus out from the caves of the Underworld, but Orpheus must not look at her before they had returned to the light or he would lose her forever. Orpheus need only be patient and trust.

In Rilke's poem, Hermes accompanies them as climbed back to the light. As they climbed, Orpheus began to have doubts. He could not hear Eurydice's footsteps. Nearing the exit from the caves, Orpheus turned to Eurydice. At that moment she was whisked back to the underworld and was lost to him forever.

Installing and Caring for Your Tile

No special treatment necessary; the colors are permanently fired into the tile. You can clean ceramic tiles with any household non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge. You will need to seal your tiles, as you would for any backsplash or water application.

Laying out your tile beforehand will make installation easier. An information sheet will accompany your final orders. Use only unsanded grout when setting your tile. Sanded grout and hard scrubbing with abrasive cleansers can dull the finish by putting very tiny lines. The color will not come off; it is baked in.