William Morris, the Original Hipster Grandad you wished​ you had…

William Morris

The Pre-Raphaelites—the group of Victorian artists, writers, and aesthetes—are back as the original Hipster mob. The original Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood existed from 1848 to 1853, had a relatively well-defined membership and clearly stated aims. They advocated a return to what they saw as the moral and visual purity of medieval art, from before the time of Raphael.

Ophelia, by John Everett Millais
The Hauntigly Beautiful Ophelia, by John Everett Millais

The Brotherhood devolved, and a second wave in the mid-eighteen-fifties, when William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones took up Rossetti’s acquaintance in the hope of pursuing art. An extraordinary burst of artistic activity followed, and it’s this latter group’s work and ideas, as they grew in the course of the century.

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Arthur HughesFair Rosamund, 1854

Morris’s obsession with the idea of craft strove to bring the mark of authenticity to everything he made. He advocated a return to pre-industrial ways of living and creating.

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Morris’s 1858 painting La belle Iseult, also inaccurately called Queen Guinevere, is his only surviving easel painting, now in the Tate Gallery. The model is Jane Burden, who married Morris in 1859.

Morris is recognised as one of the most significant cultural figures of Victorian Britain. He was best known in his lifetime as a poet, although he posthumously became better known for his designs. The William Morris Society founded in 1955 is devoted to his legacy, while multiple biographies and studies of his work have been published. Many of the buildings associated with his life are open to visitors, much of his work can be found in art galleries and museums, and his designs are still in production.

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Portrait of William Morris by William Blake Richmond

So if you are thinking about starting your own Coffee Shop, a Used Book Store, launch a Vintage Record Store, found an Old Fashioned Paper Goods Store, create an Artisan Donut Shop, Open a Tattoo Business, Operate a Second Hand Shop, Roll Out a Food Truck you must first salute to the Original Hypster The Great Mr. Morris!

If the article has inspired you why don’t you go over to our online shop and treat your self to one of Morris beautiful prints?

We print all our Gicleé copies in-house using the best Japanese Archival inks on Museum Quality Cotton papers such as Canson Infinity, Hahnemühle, Ilford Gallerie and Epson Signature Worthy using only the best archival Japanese inks. The prints are delivered in a recycled protective hardback cardboard envelope or in a rigid cardboard tube depending on size.