Snakeshead

Snakeshead

Early 20th century

William Morris

(British, 1834-1896)

designed in imitation of

Plain weave cotton, printed

Overall: 85.1 x 100.3 cm (33 1/2 x 39 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Henry Chisholm 1937.695

Description

When Morris designed Snakeshead in 1877, Indian silks were in style and widely imported from British India. This design stands out for its diminutive motifs and the strong red and black colors, which were fashionable only for a short time before paler hues regained favor with clients. While its color scheme suggests distant lands with warmer climates, the pattern showcases one of Morris’s favorite flowers: the fritillary, a wildflower that he remembered growing in the meadows near Oxford.

See also
Collection: 
Textiles
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Textile

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