William Morris Acanthus Leaves

‘Watercolour design for Acanthus wallpaper’ 18752006av0577_jpg_l

Morris was highly influenced by historian works, therefore it is unsurprising that he should come across these leaves and begin to use them within his works.

Below is an extract taken from ‘the original Morris & Co.’ website, is a bref description of an Acanthus design.

The impressive Acanthus designed by Morris in 1874 is one of his most instantly recognizable designs and marks the beginning of a period in which Morris created large-scale designs for wallpaper.  With typical complex layering and vigorous curves the scrolling acanthus foliage produces a three-dimensional effect…’

An original sample of Acanthus wallpaper (1875) from the  V&A collection.2006al7151 A block print in distemper colours, on paper. In fact, this design requires thirty separate woodblocks to complete the pattern. Acanthus was the first of a group of large-scale, heavily patterned and deep colored papers. The two layers in this design are given equal weight. Veining and the use of fifteen subtly different colors’ (more than in any previous design) emphasize the vigor of the acanthus scrolls.



Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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