Peacock and Dragon (1878)

Morris, William (1834-1896)

Peacock and Dragon
1878
Weft-faced compound twill; wool, 206.6 x 174.7 cm
Cleveland Museum of ArtCleveland

Morris sought to produce textiles that could function as he imagined medieval wall hangings had, bringing warmth to stone-cold rooms. Boldly designed with soothing colors in thick wool, Peacock and Dragon is the closest Morris came to achieving this ideal. In the same year he designed this textile, Morris visited the shop of the London dealer Vincent Robinson, where he saw a room re-created from Damascus, “all vermillion and gold and ultramarine, very beautiful, and is just like going into the Arabian nights.” It partly inspired the exotic motifs seen here. This design was one of the most popular among Morris’s customers; it was available in five colorways. (CMA)