Monday, 17 November 2014

William Morris Early Days


Morris went up to Oxford in Jan 1853. He had been withdrawn from Marlborough in 1851 in the wake of the Rebellion (several days of rioting).
“As far as my school instruction went, I think I may fairly say I learned nothing there, for indeed next to nothing was taught; but the place is in very beautiful country, thickly scattered over with prehistoric monuments….” (Morris 1883)
He met Edward Burne-Jones within a week of arrival.

"[G]o forth again to gaze upon the old cathedral front, where you have smiled so often at the fantastic ignorance of the old sculptors: examine once more those ugly goblins, and formless monsters, and stern statues, anatomiless and rigid; but do not mock at them, for they are signs of life and liberty of every workman who struck the stone; a freedom of thought, and rank in scale of being, such as no laws, no charters, no charities can secure; but which it must be the first aim of all Europe at this day to regain for her children."  (RUSKIN)
Influences
Charles Kingsley (1819-75)
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852)
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
'Men have grown mechanical in head and heart' [Carlyle]
John Ruskin (1819-1900)
“one of the very few necessary and inevitable utterances of the century.”

“To some of us when we first read it, now many years ago, it seemed to point out a new road on which the world should travel." (Morris Introduction to Ruskin’s On the Nature of the Gothic in Stones of Venice 1892)

SURF
George Landow, Elegant Jeremiahs, http://www.victorianweb.org/genre/ej/2c1.html

READ
Carlyle, T., 2006. Past and Present New Ed edition., Berkeley: University of California Press.
MacCarthy, F., 2014. Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860 - 1960, National Portrait Gallery.
Newall, C. et al., 2014. John Ruskin: Artist and Observer, Paul Holberton Publishing.

No comments:

Post a Comment