William Morris (1834 – 1896)

Honeysuckle Design

William Morris, Honeysuckle, 1876.  Block printed cotton. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

william morris honeysuckle fabric

Honeysuckle is a symmetrical mirror image repeat design. Leading through one lower central flower are two opposing `S` shaped branches swirling through and around the design, with small shoots curling intermittently around their length. Swirling florets of honeysuckle seem to twirl about, whilst sharing space with their interspersed leaves and bell shaped flowers, the soft pinkness of all the blooms contrasting with shadowing darker ground. Acanthus leaves rise, supporting like pedestals the frilly edged, red streaked poppies with seed kernel shaped loops spraying out from their centres. At the outside edges are two opposing halves of the imperial lily, the leaves above crowning their spray of drooping flowers.

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