The Golden Stairs ranks amongst the most famous paintings from versatile British artist, Edward Burne-Jones.
This is an example of the artist's production of art for art’s sake - merely producing aesthetically pleasing work for others to enjoy. The popularity of this painting led to a wealth of research into the details with in it and also the technical planning behind it. Several study drawings were uncovered that help us to piece together the development of this work.
The artist chose to complete the final artwork in oils which would make it more suitable for display in exhibitions. He preferred other mediums and larger scale art but was forced from time to time to consider the business and promotional side of his career. That said, this is a particularly large piece by the general standards of this medium, standing nearly three metres tall. It can now be found in the Tate Britain in London and the majority of his work remains in the UK.
His study sketches were produced in red chalk and pencil on paper, to a varying degree of detail. In some cases he would capture an entire portrait for later inclusion in the final artwork, whilst on other occasions he would merely focus on a single limb, facial expression or similar.