Fruit 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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Fruit is a wallpaper design by William Morris which was one of his earliest creations in this medium, with it being completed in 1864-1866. It features peaches, pomegranates, olives and citrus fruits and is sometimes referred to with the alternative name of simply, Pomegranate.

This pattern has been used for many years and in fact is still reproducted today through various interior specialists within the UK. It is believed that Fruit was used to decorate the walls of the Green Dining Room in the South Kensington Museum (now known as the V&Amp;A) around two years after it was finished, although that may have been a derivative of the original design. His early designs tended to be simpler and less bold than his later wallpaper designs, where more content was used and elements interacted with each other much more.

The Fruit wallpaper would prove particularly popular with the public and could be found in the homes of many people soon after its release. Some magazines of this period even featured photographs of interiors across the country from whom we could learn, and several of them had this particular wallpaper installed. It's simplicity and charming content could draw together the internal rooms of a home with the garden outside. The original printing blocks are still in existence and art used by Sanderson who continue to offer reproductions of the original designs.

An interesting aspect behind Morris' work on this design is that an earlier piece, preparing for the completed artwork, was recently (2009) purchased through the aid of ArtFund. This study went into considerable detail but was amended substantially before Morris arrived at his preferred design. Despite that, this item was still considered particularly valuable to the nation and so the purchase was made. It also holds great significance to its new owner, the V&A, as this design was used within the Museum itself.

Purchases by the ArtFund must be researched and reviewed before any contribution is made as the charity have a limited amount of funds with which to protect the nation's art for the wider public. In terms of the difference between the early design and finished wallpaper, these two artworks offer an interesting insight into the working methods of the artist and allow us to understand more about how much energy went into perfecting each and every design that the company manufactured.