The Pilgrim at the Gate of Idleness


Edward Burne-Jones ( British, 1833 - 1898 )

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General Description

Based loosely on Chaucer's "Roumant de la Rose," this painting reflects the artist's Pre-Raphaelite fascination with medieval themes. The painting forms a trilogy, along with the monumental "Love Leading the Pilgrim" at the Tate Gallery in London and "Heart of the Rose," in a private collection. In the Dallas picture, the Pilgrim meets Idleness personified as a beguiling maiden. Having succeeded in escaping that temptation, the Pilgrim is led by love through a briar thicket, depicted in the Tate Gallery painting. The third moment in the narrative is depicted in "Heart of the Rose," where a winged figure leads the Pilgrim to the Rose, personified as a beautiful woman within a rose bush.

Fun Facts

  • The authorship of the poem The Romaunt of the Rose has long been the subject of debate. While Chaucer translated it from the original French (Le Roman de la Rose) and made parts of it his own, it was originally written by Guillaume de Lorris c. 1230 and then added to soon after by Jean de Meun.

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