Born in Birmingham in 1833, Burne- Jones showed little interest in art as a young man and went to Oxford where he studied theology. After seeing works by Dante Gabriel Rosseti, he resolved to become a painter. He became Rosetti’s pupil in 1855 and Rosetti acted as a mentor, gaining him commissions and introducing him to fellow artists.
Burne-Jones traveled to Italy in 1859 and 1862, once accompanied by John Ruskin. He produced numerous decorative works for William Morris’ company including book illustrations, stained-glass windows, tapestries and other crafts. His output was staggering, having produced over 1000 cartoons for stained-glass and some 200 oil paintings in his lifetime. He influenced many other painters, among them T.M. Rooke, John Melhuish Strudwick and Charles Fairfax Murray. His son, Philip Burne-Jones was a painter as well.