Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Drawings and Studies by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1899, no 190;
The Hayward Gallery, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery & Southampton City Art Gallery, The Paintings, Graphic and Decorative Work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones 1833-1898, Nov 1975-Feb 1976, no 235
William Monkhouse, Burlington Fine Arts Club, Drawings and Studies by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1899, p 51, cat no 190;
John Christian & Penelope Marcus, Burne-Jones: the paintings, graphic and decorative work of Sir Edward Burne-Jones 1833-98, Hayward Gallery 1975-6, 1975, p 76, cat no 235
This drawing is closely related to Burne-Jones’s portrait in oils of Frances Graham of 1879, made when she was 25, in which she wears the same collar, with hair braided in the same way. John Christian wrote: ‘Frances Graham was an eminently suitable, though no doubt a challenging subject, and in his portrait of her he seeks to achieve his ideal. The eyes were always of great importance in his faces, and he focuses on hers, appropriately since they were one of her most remarkable features. Margot Asquith is said to have called them ‘ghost eyes’, and faced with this portrait, we feel that we know what she meant. Deliberately understated and in no way ‘obvious’, the picture gradually comes to have an almost hypnotic effect.’ This drawing is deliberately delicate, an emulation of Leonardo’s metal point drawings. Frances Graham, later Lady Horner, was the daughter of Burne- Jones’s staunchest and most sympathetic patron, William Graham. Admired for her strength of mind, intellectual curiosity and depth of sympathetic understanding, Frances became one of Burne-Jones’s closest confidantes. In the 1880s, she was a leading light in the coterie known as ‘The Souls’; Lady Paget called her their ‘High Priestess’.