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Iris

Date: ca. 1876
Dimensions:
26 1/8 x 16 3/4 in. (66.4 x 42.5 cm.)
Medium: watercolor and graphite on paper
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Marks: stamp: recto left side: "78"
Inscription: recto left side in red ink: "X width of block"; lower right: "cut the pattern/ on the red line"; lower rihgt in brown ink: "block with square ends"; lower right: " the block must have/ square ends that is/ it must not follow/ the shape of the "; lower right in red ink: "patterns"; verso upper left in graphite: "Chintz"; center in black ink: "FLEUR-DE-LIS/ Or / IRIS/ No 9/ Morris & Co/ MERTON ABBEY WORKS,/ Surrey."; in red ink:" 17/ George Street/ Morris/ Hanover Square/ London W1"; right side in black ink by a separate hand: "A great many of William Morris designs are/ not by his hand but this one is -/ It is an early one, and although so beautiful/ it was not often used - T. E. Lowinsky - 1940" stamp: recto left side: "78"
Object Number: 2000.5.447
Label Text:Although the influence of contemporary Indian textiles is apparent in this design, Morris also found inspiration in a German printed linen purported to be from the fifteenth century that he had studied at the South Kensington Museum. Morris also employs a willow motif, a popular contemporary pattern, in the background. As with wallpaper, Morris had specific ideas on how the woodblocks for textile printing should be cut. He has added instructions to the block-cutter on this design, noting that: "The block must have square ends that is it must not follow the shape of the pattern."