The Adoration

One of my favorite depictions of the birth of the Christ–and even more amazing that it is a 19th century tapestry!

The Adoration, Burne-Jones and WIlliam Morris
The Adoration, Burne-Jones and WIlliam Morris

“The overall composition and the figures were designed by Edward Burne-Jones, who completed a 26 × 38 inch modello or design in watercolour and bodycolour heightened with gold in 1887. Large-scale cartoons for the tapestry weavers were created from photographically enlarged panels of Burne-Jones’s watercolour. In a letter of 7 September 1886, Morris had suggested that the tapestry’s colouration should be ‘both harmonious and powerful, so that it would not be overpowered’ by the chapel’s brilliantly coloured stained glass. Morris and his assistant John Henry Dearle chose a vibrant colour scheme and added background and foreground details including the flowering plants characteristic of Dearle’s tapestry work. All in all, the tapestry took four years to realise, including two years’ work by three weavers at Morris’s Merton Abbey Mills. The tapestry was completed in February 1890 and displayed in Morris & Co.’s Oxford Street showroom in London that Easter before being presented to Exeter College.Lightfoot did not live to see the finished tapestry; he died at the Rectory at Exeter College on 23 March 1887.” (Wikipedia)

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