Winter & Summer
Designer / Maker
After designs by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98)
Pen and ink, on fabric
17.2 x 16.5 cm
English (London), circa 1870
Morris & Co., Oxford Street, London; Barbara Morris
These drawings, after Burne-Jones, were probably workshop copies for use by tile painters.
The first set of tiles representing the Seasons produced by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company (1861–75) was for the painter Myles Birket Foster (1825–99), an important early patron of the Firm. The tiles, which originally decorated a bedroom at The Hill, Birket Foster’s house at Witley, Surrey, are now in an English private collection (with Blairman’s, 2007); see Richard and Hilary Myers, William Morris Tiles, Shepton Beauchamp, 1996, fig. 23a.
According to Myers, Summer is closely related to Burne-Jones’s Green Summer (1864) and the inspiration for Burne-Jones may have been a manuscript romance also entitled Green Summer written by William Morris (op. cit. p. 60).
The tiles for The Hill measured 5″ x 5″, but later versions measuring 6” x 6” were produced during the 1870s. Myers reproduces a watercolour for Summer in this larger size (fig. 67) and it is presumably for these later, larger tiles that the present drawings were produced.