Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny Prime –

From The Winner Of The Booker Prize A Ravishing Book Thatopens A Window Into The Lives, Designs, And Passions Of Mariano Fortuny And William Morris, Two Remarkable Artists Who Themselves Are Passions Of The Writer A S Byatt Born A Generation Apart In The Mid S, Fortuny And Morris Were Seeming Opposites Fortuny A Spanish Aristocrat Thrilled By The Sun Baked Cultures Of Crete And Knossos Morris A Member Of The British Bourgeoisie, Enthralled By Nordic Myths Through Their Revolutionary Inventions And Textiles, Both Men Inspired A New Variety Of Art That Is As Striking Today As When It Was First Conceived In This Elegant Meditation, Byatt Traces Their Genius Right To The SourceFortunys Palazzo Pesaro Orfei In Venice Is A Warren Of Dark Spaces Imbued With The Rich Hues Of Asia In His Attic Workshop, Fortuny Created Intricate Designs From Glowing Silks And Velvets In The Palazzo He Found Happiness In A Glittering Cavern Alongside The French Model Who Became His Wife And Collaborator, Including On The Famous Delphos Dressa Flowing, Pleated Gown That Evoked The Era Of Classical Greece Morriss Red House Outside London, With Its Gothic Turrets And Secret Gardens, Helped Inspire His Stunning Floral And Geometric Patterns It Likewise Represented A Coming Together Of Life And Art But It Was A Sweet Simple Old Place Called Kelmscott Manor In The Countryside That He Loved Besteven When It Became The Setting For His Wifes Love Affair With The Artist Dante Gabriel RossettiGenerously Illustrated With The Artists Beautiful Designspomegranates And Acanthus, Peacock And Vineamong Other Aspects Of Their Worlds, This Marvel Filled Book Brings The Visions And Ideas Of Fortuny And Morris To Vivid Life

5 thoughts on “Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny

  1. says:

    Byatt presents a beautiful, highly personal essay on Morris and Fortuny which I read in a single sitting I came to this as a big fan of both Morris and Byatt but knew nothing of Fortuny despite having read Proust I assumed that Fortuny in In Search of Lost Time was another fictional artist like Vintieul, Bergma, and Elstir Byatt has very much broadened how I look at Morris work generally and printed patterns specifically whether they are wallpaper, fabric, or whatever As the book is exactly as advertised, a highly personal reflection on Morris and Fortuny s art so I am disappointed in the reviewers who rail on this little book, apparently expecting a rehash of Fiona MacCarthy s biography of Morris For those looking to expand how they look at Morris, Fortuny and the Arts and Crafts Movement generally, I recommend this highly.

  2. says:

    Great insight by a brilliant writer I have always loved Morris and this book put him in a whole new light I also made me want to learn about Fortuny and his creative process and life.

  3. says:

    A book that captures the beauty of composition, not just of fabric, but of the craft of originating new artistic designs.

  4. says:

    Famous author writing about two master designers William Morris and Fortuny Must have Lived up to expectation with insights about the designers and their commonalities and differences I ve passed in on to two friends who also loved it Small book but a delight.

  5. says:

    Read Peacock and Vine for book club at the Ringling Museum Agreed that book is beautifully designed Some connections between Morris and Fortuny were convincing Others nebulous Photographs of Fortuny fabrics are luscious Fabric samples of Morris fabrics brought to meeting are compelling than in illustrations.