Medieval & Arthurian

The Sleeping Princess is from a cycle of paintings by Burne-Jones entitled The Briar Rose series. He did the cycle in several forms, illustrating the legend of the Sleeping Beauty. Although the title Briar Rose is a direct translation of the German title of the story "Dornroschen," it is thought that a more direct inspiration for the series was Tennyson's poem, Day Dream.

The Briar Rose theme first appeared on a set of tiles designed by Burne-Jones, then in a set of three paintings, then in yet another set of 4 paintings. The sets were very popular so an edition of 525 sets of these were made, 400 of which were signed. Historians speculate that there may also be another set of four paintings and 2 more individual paintings by Burne-Jones on the Briar Rose theme, but none have yet surfaced.