True Love Never Dies – it only increases in value

A rare painting last seen 100 years ago, is set to appear at auction this July. Edward Burne-Jones’ ‘Love Among The Ruins’ True Love Never Dies depicts a couple in dramatic embrace, the very spirit of Browning’s 1855 elegiac poem, on which the painting is based.

Edward_Burne-Jones_Love_Among_the_Ruins pinso

‘Love Among The Ruins’ by Edward Burne-Jones

Around them an ancient city crumbles, pillars are overtaken by briers, evoking the forbidding natural world of Brothers Grimm fairytales. The male lover’s eyes are downcast and sleepy while the woman grips his neck and turns her eyes to the fallen city around them. The striking, cobalt bolt of satin she is swathed is a vivid contrast to the surrounding brown decay. At the man’s feet sits a harp, a symbol of the courtly, lover knight; this is Tristan and Isolde, whose true but illicit love transcended societal convention, treacherous jealousy and, ultimately, death.

A final tug at the heart strings – the model was Maria Zambaco, a fiery lady rumoured to be artist’s true love.

Now, in a broken, shambolic country on the brink of financial ruin and seemingly impervious to its endangered creative industry, Burne-Jones’ painting of love against all odds is set to fetch between £3-5 million at auction. The painting was last sold in 1958 for 480 guineas (around £500), not only verifies the cliché ‘true love never dies’, but suggests that l’amour vrai is a canny investment.

The record breaking sum reinforces what is important in an economically bleak and politically shady era; party promises, the housing market and national institutions are corruptible and changeable, but the majesty of art and love is eternal. And it might just make you a few quid, too.


Below is some more examples of Edward Burne-Jones work.

beguiling-of-merlin Pinso


Edward Burne-Jones lover Maria Zambaco Pinso

Lover Maria Zambaco

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