The Orchard thumbnail 1
The Orchard thumbnail 2
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The Orchard

Tapestry
1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Orchard was William Morris' first attempt to design a figurative tapestry, responding to the wishes of rich clients to have unique works of art by him, and following on from the success of his firm of Morris & Co in producing fine tapestries designed by the artist Edward Burne-Jones. It depicts an array of fruit trees with their harvest ready for gathering, including apples, grapes, olives and pears, behind a row of figures in medieval-style dress.

The figures are holding a scrolling banner with a poem composed by Morris, written especially for the tapestry, and celebrating the bounty of the orchard, and the rhythm of the seasons.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Tapestry
  • Lining
Additional TitleThe Seasons
Materials and Techniques
Tapestry woven in wool, silk and mohair on a cotton warp
Brief Description
Tapestry, The Orchard, designed by William Morris, wool & silk, Britain, 1890
Physical Description
Tapestry showing four figures against a foliate background
Dimensions
  • Height: 221cm
  • Length: 472cm
  • Top width: 4675mm
  • Bottom width: 4655mm
  • Proper right length: 2190mm
  • Proper left length: 2160mm
Style
Object history
Purchased for £405 from Morris & Co by the V&A in 1898, on the recommendation of J. H. Pollen and the Earl of Carlisle.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The Orchard was William Morris' first attempt to design a figurative tapestry, responding to the wishes of rich clients to have unique works of art by him, and following on from the success of his firm of Morris & Co in producing fine tapestries designed by the artist Edward Burne-Jones. It depicts an array of fruit trees with their harvest ready for gathering, including apples, grapes, olives and pears, behind a row of figures in medieval-style dress.



The figures are holding a scrolling banner with a poem composed by Morris, written especially for the tapestry, and celebrating the bounty of the orchard, and the rhythm of the seasons.
Collection
Accession Number
154-1898

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record createdJanuary 6, 2003
Record URL