Studio: international art — 45.1909

Seite: 13
DOI Heft: DOI Artikel: DOI Seite: Zitierlink: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1909/0035
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0.5
1 cm
facsimile
Tapestries designed by Sir E. Bur ne-fones and J. H. Dearie

‘THE FAILURE OF SIR LANCELOT”
(“holy grail” SERIES)

DESIGNED BY SIR E. BURNE-JONES
EXECUTED BY MORRIS & CO., LTD.

SOME EXAMPLES OF TAPESTRY
DESIGNED BY SIR E. BURNE-
JONES AND MR. J. H. DEARLE.

There exists a document which would seem
hitherto to have eluded the vigilance of the late
William Morris’s bibliographers, and that is a
letter over his signature, published in the six-
teenth volume of “The Journal of the Derbyshire
Archaeological Society.” Dated 5th April, 1893,
It is valuable as giving a brief epitome of the
tapestry work executed by Morris’s firm up to
that period. “ It may interest you to know,”
the letter begins, “ that I wove a piece of orna-
ment with my own hands, the chief merit of
which, I take it, lies in the fact that I learned the
art of doing it, with no other help than what I
could get from a very little eighteenth-century
book, one of the series of i Arts âr Métiers,’
Published by the Government.” This, his first
P'ece of arras, Morris calls in his diary the

“Cabbage and Vine Tapestry.” It was begun,
as recorded in the same diary, on May 10th, 1879.
It contained foliage and birds, but no figures ; in
short it was a verdtira. But nothing less than
figure-work could content him ; and after fifteen
years of untiring effort the firm were engaged, under
Morris’s direction, on the now world-famed “ Holy
Grail ” series for Mr. D’Arcy, at Stanmore. To
have made thus a dead art live again was a gigantic
achievement for one man to accomplish ; and no
other was capable of doing it but William Morris.

The earliest specimen of figure-work woven at
Merton was Mr. Walter Crane’s “ Goose Girl.” The
original cartoon, now at the Victoria and Albert
Museum, bears the date 1880. The tapestry itself
was executed in the following year. From that
time forward, however (with one exception, presently
to be noted), Morris always secured Sir Edward
Burne-Jones to design the figures, the accessories
being arranged, at first by Morris himself, sub-
sequently by his gifted pupil, Mr. J. H. Dearie.
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