Description: SIGNED AND DATED (MAKER'S MARKS) with artist's monogram
Dimensions: 38 1/4 x 84 5/8 x 55 1/8 in. (97 x 215 x 140 cm)
Medium: painted wood, ebony and ivory keys
Date: ca. 1880
Provenance: Sotheby's London, 3 March 1989, lot 216
Notes: manufactured by Erard
The decorative iconography ornamenting this piano is inspired by various Pre-Raphaelite paintings executed by the celebrated British painter and designer Edward Burne-Jones. The figural scene decorating the top of the piano is inspired by Burne-Jones' painting "Laus Veneris," while the scenes ornamenting the frieze and interior draw from various Burne-Jones works including "Homage to Vinland the Good" and the "Tree of Forgiveness."
After training at the Royal College of Art and Royal Academy Thomas Matthew Rooke was hired by the design firm Morris & Co., where he was appointed assistant to Burne-Jones. For several years Rooke executed preliminary sketches and variations on Burne-Jones' works, transferring his highly detailed pencil drawings onto canvas. Rooke also worked for John Ruskin, for whom he executed many architectural designs now in the collection of the Ruskin Museum at Sheffield.
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