Saint Cecilia (c.1900)

Burne-Jones, Edward (1833-1898)

Saint Cecilia
Stained and painted glass, 213.5 x 75.5 cm
Princeton University Art MuseumPrinceton

This window is the result of a collaboration between the Pre-Raphaelite painter Burne-Jones and the firm founded by William Morris, who initiated the English Arts and Crafts movement. Burne-Jones and Morris were inspired by the writings of John Ruskin as well as the anti-academic, anti-industrial views of the artists known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Ruskin argued for a return to the methods of medieval craftsman, which he deemed more honest, ethical, and democratic than the mechanical processes of the Industrial Revolution. The Pre-Raphaelites favored handmade crafts and imagery drawn from nature. Burne-Jones’s designs were used for numerous Saint Cecilia windows even after his death. Cecilia changes only slightly from one window to another, but the colors and backgrounds vary. The original location of the Museum’s window is unknown but might have been a dining room or entertainment space where the musical motif would have been suitable. (PUAM)