Beauty and the Beast (c.1863-64)

Beauty and the Beast
© William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest See license information

This tile panel depicts the children's fairytale 'Beauty and the Beast'. It was originally installed above a fire place in a bedroom of the artist Myles Birket Foster, at his home The Hill, Witley, Surrey. The scroll on the surrounding Swan tiles is inscribed with a description of the story, 'How a Prince who by enchantment was under the form of a beast became a man again by the love of a certain maiden'.

The panel was designed by Edward Burne-Jones. The bear was based on sketches specially drawn for him by Philip Webb, who probably observed the animals at Regents Park Zoological Gardens. Lucy Faulkner, the sister of Charles Faulkner, one of the partners of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. painted Burne-Jones designs by hand onto the tiles.

Burne-Jones also designed a similar panel of 'Sleeping Beauty' for Birket Foster's house (now in the V&A Museum, London).