Monday, March 23, 2015

Pre-Raphaelite Paintings at Red House

Red House was the home of artist William Morris between 1860 and 1865 and he is where he entertained his friends, many of them important Pre-Raphaelite artists. These friends helped decorate walls, ceilings and items of furniture at the house with colourful wall paintings and decorative patterns inspired by their love of the medieval past.  Over the years, under private ownership much of his original decoration had been covered over with panelling, wallpaper or paint.

In 2013 experts discovered an entire wall painting concealed behind a cupboard at Red House. It began as an attempt to restore one blurry image that had been hidden for a century behind a large built-in wardrobe on William Morris's bedroom wall. The mural is believed to be the joint work of famous pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, Ford Madox Brown and Morris. It depicts Biblical characters: the figures of Adam and Eve (with the serpent), Noah (holding a miniature ark), Rachel and Jacob (with a ladder) and is designed to resemble a hanging tapestry with the illusion of folds.

When I heard the story I was eager to see the painting and finally got to visit the Red House this past week.

See more at the National Trust site.

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