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Edward Burne-Jones's Inspiration for The Love Song: Victor Massé, "La chanson de Marie"

Music was a source of personal pleasure and artistic inspiration for Edward Burne-Jones. When his painting The Love Song was first exhibited in 1878, the catalogue listing for the picture included a refrain from a Breton folk ballad, "La chanson de Marie" (The Song of Marie): "Alas, I know a love song, / Sad or happy, each in turn." This is a recent recording of the lyrics as set to music by the French composer Victor Massé in 1853. Published in conjunction with The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design, on view May 20 through October 26, 2014.

Victor Massé, "La chanson de Marie," (Chants bretons, 1853); setting of a poem published by Auguste Brizeux (Les Ternaires, 1841). Performed by Lucy Fitz Gibbon (vocalist) and Szilvia Miko (pianist).

The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy

Sir Edward Burne-Jones (British, Birmingham 1833–1898 Fulham). The Love Song, 1868–77. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 1947 (47.26)

Exhibitions (79)