Collection Online

The Wheel of Fortune
(1871-1885)

Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
151.4 × 72.5 cm
Inscription
inscribed in brown paint u.l.: EB(dot)J (monogram)
Accession Number
381-2
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1909
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Frame

Edward BURNE-JONES
The Wheel of Fortune (1871-1885)
Framemaker
Unknown - 19th century
Date
c.1885
Materials

wood, composition, gold leaf

Condition

partly reconstructed 2003

About

Burne-Jones Wheel of Fortune, had been removed from the outer sections of the tabernacle style frame (referred to as the candelabrum frame with reference to the ornament on the frieze) that originally surrounded the painting and put on display in the slip and flat of the frame. No date for this intervention has come to light, though it must predate 1966. A card file from 1966 shows the painting in only the frieze section with a note frame: Mr Beal. This intervention with the frame might be associated with the broad sweep of modernisation of frames in the collection that ran from the late 1930s through the 1950s.
The top and bottom entablature components appear to have been discarded but one section of the ‘egg and dart’ outer border was found in storage.
The painting appears in the full frame in a photograph of the Stawell Gallery (NGV, Swanston St. site) p.98 of the illustrated catalogue of the National Gallery of Victoria, 1911 and in part in the background of the reproduction of Mackennal’s Circe in the same publication.
The same frame appears on a painting by Burne-Jones in the Dallas Museum of Art (The Pilgrim at the gate of idleness) and Tate Gallery (Vesperina Quies). Another version of the frame appears on The Tree of Forgiveness, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight.
These complete frames, in particular the one at Tate, were used to reconstruct the pediments while the remaining original piece of the outer border was used to replicate the remaining three sections.
The timber work, casting, carving of the gesso and toning and finishing of the surface was carried out in the frame studio of the NGV.
The painting was refitted into the reconstructed frame in 2003.