Evenlode William Morris Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Evenlode is a design by William Morris which can be found at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the US in the form of a printed cotton chintz.

The date given to this design is 1883 - 1900. This considerable gap might be due to the date including both when the original design was made, but also when it was first manufactured. Many of Morris' designs would not be put into production until many years later, as after all, he created around six hundred different designs in total. His designs would be used across a great variety of materials, and somehow they could make each transition without much adjustment. His approach was connected to floral design and he would incorporate elements from his local environment in the English countryside, including birds, plants and flowers. Evenlode is no different in that regard, but it is also important to remember that elements of his artistic style were also influenced by foreign styles which he had come across earlier in his life. Italian and Persian influences were particularly connected to his approach, though after his death his legacy would actually spread abroad, creating a two-way direction of influence.

Evenlode is one of the artist's most complex designs and would require an incredible 33 printing blocks in order to produce the final piece. This would make it one of the more time consuming items that he designed and this would be reflected in its pricing for patrons. Other designs were simpler, with fewer printing blocks needed and these could therefore be produced quicker. Morris insisted on producing everything by hand and so would have to bear in mind complexity when pricing his company's products. Most knowledgeable patrons understood that quality would come at a price and their decision to use Morris' services was because of their desire for products that were a little bit special and unique, both in design but also in the manner in which they were manufactured. Over time Morris was able to build a strong business which boasted some famous names within its list of patrons, who were able to afford these premium prices.

Those who understand the technical elements of fabric and textile production will understand the complexities that came with this Evenlode design. Even the background itself required several stages, before even the foreground floral detail would be commenced. Some evidence that we have suggests that Evenlode was actually manufactured as early as 1883, but other sources suggest it continued into the following decade. New information continues to appear from his life, because of how several societies set up in his name provide new research projects. His contemporary style is still very popular today and has been taken into the mainstream, with interest in a return to traditional values being particularly fashionable at the moment, with regards themes such as politics, the environment, society itself and also life outside of urban spaces.