Sidonia von Bork
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The Gothick novel, Sidonia the Sorceress, by the German author Johann Wilhelm Meinhold was translated into English by Oscar Wilde's mother, Lady Jane Wilde, in 1849. It is a chronicle of a beautiful but incurably evil noblewoman who killed and destroyed the entire court of Pomerania. Sidonia was put to death for witchcraft in 1620, at the age of 80.

Sidonia was a favourite with the Pre-Raphaelites who were attracted by her beauty and the occult element. The novel was a favourite book of Rossetti's and William Morris issued a reprint of it under his Kelmscott Press imprint in 1893.

Edward Burne-Jones paints Sidonia as a proud beauty. The inscription 'Sidonia von Bork 1560' appears on the mount, thus indicating that Burne-Jones considered her to be aged 20 in the picture. She is shown plotting some new crime. A filigree net holds her hair, whose colour diverts bees from their flowers; her gown is covered with an intricate, impossible web, indicative of her wiles. In the background are glimpsed her victims, while a symbolic spider sits on the scroll bearing the artist's signature.

- Commentary from

Owner/Location: Tate Britain - London  (United Kingdom - London)
Dates: 1860
Artist age:Approximately 27 years old.
Dimensions: Height: 33.3 cm (13.11 in.), Width: 17.1 cm (6.73 in.)
Medium: Painting - watercolor
and gouache
Entered by: Member chris_mccormick on 05 November 2001.
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