Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cupboard Painting

A painting on the cupboard portraying a scene
from La Morte d'Arthur' by Thomas Malory,
 painted by William Morris, Oil on panel
Detail of the cupboard painting, showing 
Edward Burne-Jones and his wife . 

One of the main attractions inside the Red House is the mystical medieval paintings found all over the difference surfaces of the home. By looking at the furniture design, interior and exterior decor, it is obvious that William Morris very much enjoyed all things medieval inspired. 

The images above show an unfinished painting on a cupboard placed right at the front entrance of the house. It is still unsure where Morris took the scene of the painting from, or whether or not it was taken from a tale. Some believe that it is portraying Sir Lancelot, The Knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend, on a journey to Joyous Gard. Regardless of the story that the scene was taken from, what is unmistakable in this work is that the painting shows a group of individuals gathering together and having a great time. The interesting thing about this piece is that William Morris painted the faces of his friends and family as the main characters; one of the seated ladies on the left of the image is William Morris' wife, Jane Morris, while on the opposite side is his good friend Edward Burne-Jones feeding a cherry to Mrs. Burne-Jones. The projection of personal faces into the painting shows Morris' wish to create a home that is filled with happiness and love, just as portrayed in the atmosphere of the artwork. 


Marsh, Jan. William Morris & Red House. London, UK: National Trust, n.d.

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