From William Morris’ lecture The Lesser Arts of Life (online here – a seemingly odd inclusion in marxists.org). I’m trying to convince my wife to let me wallpaper my library in Morris’ Bird and Pomegranate print (at bottom) and have been looking at a lot of the Morris&Co productions the last few days.
Well, this is all I have to say about the poor remains of the art of tapestry-weaving: and yet what a noble art it was once! To turn our chamber walls into the green woods of the leafy month of June, populous of bird and beast; or a summer garden with man and maid playing round a fountain, or a solemn procession of the mythical warriors and heroes of old; that surely was worth the trouble of doing
For illustration of what he had in mind, here are a few of Morris’ works. A good summary of his overall textile production can be found here.
First, The Orchard tapestry depicting several fruit trees ready for harvest and figural representations of the seasons holding a poem of Morris’ composing. Courtesy of V&A (but never on display it seems).
An acanthus wall hanging, also from the V&A collection:
And here’s the pattern I want. It reminds me somehow of a frescoed room from the Villa of Livia – now in the Palazzo Massimo in Rome – that even in faded and broken form remains breathtaking in person (see below pattern, more pictures in link above).