Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., ARA (British 1833-1898)
A similar but looser study of the same model in the same pose, likewise signed and dated E B-J 1896 and inscribed Avalon was also owned by Major C.S. Goldman (sold by his son John Monck at Christies 16th Nov 1965, lot 16 (3); illus. C. Wood, Burne-Jones, 1998, p. 126). Although the pose and details such as her hair and frilly shirt are the same, in this study she looks toward the viewer rather than downward to the left. The other Goldman study has sometimes been thought to be for a head of a Queen. We now know this is incorrect since our study is inscribed for a watcher and is almost certainly the watcher who holds a shield, standing in a trio to the right of the image. This study probably precedes the other since in the final work the female watcher is glancing downward to the left.