Laus Veneris, painted by the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones between 1873 and 1875, depicts a queen in flame-colored robes with a golden crown on her lap. The painting shares a similar mood of sadness to Burne-Jones’s other works. The queen is portrayed in a love-sick state and her expression is pale yet strikingly beautiful.
The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne houses this important work of art by one of the last Pre-Raphaelites. It was based on a lost watercolor dated back to 1861. Scholars suggest that there are possible connections between Burne-Jones’s subject, Wagner’s opera Tannhauser, and Swinburne’s poem Laus Veneris.
This painting provides an excellent opportunity for art enthusiasts to reflect on the richness of Pre-Raphaelite art. It portrays their interest in romanticism and medievalism while also embracing modernity. Laus Veneris is rightfully considered one of Burne-Jones’ most important works due to its sublime beauty and subtleties in expression, composition, coloration, and imagination which transcend time.