|Edward Burne-Jones met William Morris in 1853 when they were students at Oxford University.
They read some lectures by Ruskin praising the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Rossetti
they saw Rossetti`s painting, Dante drawing an Angel and his drawing,
The Maids of Elfinmere. They decided to become artists too.
Burne-Jones met Rossetti in London. Rossetti
persuaded him to leave Oxford without taking his final exams. Burne-Jones
did some elaborate pen and ink drawings under Rossetti's influence. Most
were on medieval subjects like The Knight's Farewell. His drawings
are described in Ann S. Dean's Burne-Jones Drawings.
Burne-Jones also did some drawings for Morris to illustrate his long poem, The Earthly Paradise. Morris engraved many of them on wood, but only one of them was used when the book was published, as Morris thought the printed letters did not look well with the wood engravings made from the drawings. It was many years before Morris invented his own typefaces and used other drawings by Burne-Jones for his Kelmscott Chaucer.
Above is one of the engravings from 'The Story of Cupid and
Psyche', one of the stories retold by Morris in The Earthly Paradise. Later Burne-Jones turned some of these drawings into paintings
to make a frieze for George Howard's house in London.
In 1857 Rossetti recommended Burne-Jones to the glass firm Powells as a designer of stained glass windows.
Around 1860 Burne-Jones also started his first paintings in gouache (opaque watercolours).