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Picturing a World

Androgynous Pygmaliion

When I first saw this image, I thought the central figure was a woman. In fact, it is the male sculptor, Pygmalion, from Burne-Jones's series on the topic of Pygmalion and Galatea. But no matter: Inspiration can result from mistaken perception, and I like the idea of a woman artist seriously musing on the Three Graces, unaware that she herself is being watched. In my story, she would be on brink of some major departure. The story would somehow incorporate those ghostly reflections beneath the table. Yours?

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World's Fair (IV): Merlin

Burne-Jones's Merlin was, in fact, shown at the Paris World's Fair of 1878. It played perfectly into my wish to touch obliquely on the topic of an older man's infatuation with a younger woman while dramatizing only the barest beginnings of Edward and Jeanette's romance.

To my mind, Burne-Jones is a strange artist, often gorgeous and repellent simultaneously. Readers, how would you answer Jeanette's question in the novel: Is this painting wonderful or ghastly? Read More 
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