Peacock & Vine

Peacock & Vine

Fortuny and Morris in Life and at Work

Book - 2016
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Born a generation apart, they were apparent opposites: Fortuny a Spanish aristocrat, thrilled by the sun-baked cultures of Crete and Knossos; Morris the British bourgeois, in thrall to the myths of the North. Yet both men developed unusual textile designs, were practical inventors, and inspired a new sort of artistic community in the places they lived. Fortuny's Palazzo Orfei in Venice is a warren of dark, almost Oriental spaces, with an attic workshop where craftsmen worked on pleated silks and shining velvets. Morris's Red House, outside London, with its Gothic turrets and secret gardens, represented a coming together of life, work and domestic crafts. Inspired by a vision of the aquamarine light of Venice set against Morris's green English countryside, A.S. Byatt conveys a rich sense of these contrasts, these people, and the profound ideas and sensual delight that make the work of Fortuny and Morris endure.
Publisher: London :, Chatto & Windus,, 2016
ISBN: 9781784740801
Branch Call Number: 709.22 BYA
Characteristics: 183 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 18 cm
Alternative Title: Peacock and vine


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Sep 13, 2016

This long essay on the work of William Morris and Mariano Fortuny is quite wonderful. Although they were different, Byatt uses each to throw light on the other. It is a beautiful book with lovely illustrations. Perhaps Byatt is reflecting on her own craft toward the end of her career.

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