William Morris and the art of composition

Portrait William Morris

Frederick Hollyer / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Freedom, curiosity, fantasy and traditional craftsmanship sum up the philosophy of the Arts & Crafts movement and its founder William Morris. This English artist and designer, inspired by nature, dreamed of a world ... "more beautiful".

"Have nothing in you that you do not know useful or you think beautiful". Quote from the English desginer William Morris.

Child, nature was already his culture

It was also a landmark and even his lair. William Morris (1834-1896) was not yet ten years old when he was riding horseback in the forest of Epping, south of London. A way to escape from his family, at school, but also to observe plants, flowers, trees. Compositions, variations that will later serve as a base for his drawings, his floral universe, his colors.

William Morris advocates arts and crafts

During his theology studies at Oxford, Morris crosses the path of painters Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who influence him. He begins to learn architecture, arts, and approaches the Pre-Raphaelites, to better initiate the Arts & Crafts movement. We are at the dawn of the 1860s and this movement that advocates arts and crafts opposes modern civilization as the proliferation of machines.

"Poetic Stationery" of Tiger Paper for Diptych

Tiger paper

Morris and Company / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

William Morris puts everything on the grounds

His first interior decoration? Morris made it for her own house, the Red House, located in Bexleyheath, south-east London. When he moves in, he realizes that there is nothing he likes about the editors of furniture, fabrics and other decorative objects. With his accomplices Burne-Jones and Rossetti, they make everything themselves, draw stained glass, paint furniture, take inspiration from naturalistic compositions, multiply patterns and colors.

The English designer values ​​the traditions

Fascinated by the Middle Ages, Morris retains that at that time "the greatest artist remained a craftsman, the most humble craftsman was also an artist". And he will work to work in this direction. Handy, the designer reveals himself with his graphic work, but he also creates tapestries, stained glass, furniture, ceramic tiles ... A selection of these pieces is also on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Morris and Company / Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Morris and Company / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

William Morris updates the past

The Morris & Co. factory, founded in 1861, continues to draw on its archives to reinterpret the original designs of the designer. Colorful and floral patterns that inspire Louis Vuitton home, some of the models in the 2015 summer collection would not detonate in the Red House Bexleyheath.
William Morris:
Victoria & Albert Museum:

A bazaar of fine arts

"The founding elements of our projects are quality, aesthetics, craftsmanship and simplicity, and we are getting closer to Arts & Crafts," says Myriam Badault, creative director of Diptyque. The house was born in 1961 and claims its history. Thus, his new "Collection 34" recalls the bazaar spirit that animated the brand in its early days and "the creativity without constraint" of Willliam Morris, "but we are not in nostalgia," insists Myriam Badault. She speaks of a mix between "joy and modernity". Like the "poetic stationery" of Tiger Paper for Diptych.

Silhouette signed by the designer Nicolas Ghesquière for the Vuitton Spring-Summer 2015 collection


Portrait William Morris

Frederick Hollyer / Victoria and Albert Museum, London