William Morris, Woodpecker, 1885*
William Morris was a socialist, a craftsman, a poet, a publisher and an artist. The inscription on this breathtaking hand-made tapestry reads ‘I once a king and chief, now am the tree barks thief/ ever twixt trunk and leaf, chasing the prey’ and is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphosis – in which an ancient Mediterranean king is turned into a bird by the jealous sorceress Circe as a punishment for remaining faithful to his wife. William Morris’ own wife Jane conducted a long and public affair with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, being the pre-Raphaelite painter’s model and muse for many years, but William continued to live with her until his death.
For more information on this tapestry, we strongly recommend you visit The Textile Blog.
*This is not a painting. Apologies if this dilution of the feature has left you piqued and with a feeling of chagrin.