Robert Catterson-Smith (1853 - 1938)

Walter Approaching the Cave Entrance: Drawing For an Illustration for a projected Edition of 'The Hill of Venus' (c.1896)

Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898), Robert Catterson-Smith (1853 - 1938)

One of three drawings in the same series. For two others see D280 and D280b. They were designed by Burne-Jones as illustrations for a prose version of The Hill of Venus which Morris had intended to write and publish in a Kelmscott Press edition.
The tale had already been written in verse form by Morris in The Earthly Paradise, and when Morris was planning to produce a fine printing of this work in the 1860s, Burne-Jones designed a number of illustrations for this story which were never used as the projected edition was abandoned. However, when Morris began his prose version of this tale in 1896, these original designs were taken up and developed by Burne-Jones for the Kelmscott press edition. The story remained unfinished at Morris's death and hence the book never appeared. The borders which Morris had designed for the Kelmscott Press edition were later used in the small folio of the Story of Sigurd the Volsung published by the Press in 1898 (for a copy see K694). Burne-Jones's illustrations were thus never printed, though some of them had been prepared for engraving by Robert Cattermole-Smith, using the same techniques as for the Chaucer illustrations. For three such prepared designs see D281, a and b.