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Proof of illustrations from 'A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden': 'And while Time his scythe is whetting' and 'The Four Seasons' flight'

Walter Crane (1845-1915)

WCA.1.1.1.3.60

Title Proof of illustrations from 'A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden': 'And while Time his scythe is whetting' and 'The Four Seasons' flight'
Object type Proof
Artist/maker Walter Crane (1845-1915)
Support Paper
Medium Ink (Printed In Colours)
Dimensions h:273 w:197
Accession number WCA.1.1.1.3.60
Description Folded paper with colour proofs on front and reverse. First proof depicts an old man with wings and a beard. The figure wears a hooded robe and is depicted sharpening a large scythe. The background features two small, winged figures, an hourglass lying on the ground, a hedge and a narrow tree. A dandelion appears in the foreground. To the upper right of the page is a text box containing verse, printed in red and black. The image is contained within a linear border printed in red ink.<br /><br />The second proof depicts four women in long dresses. One woman kneels in front of a sundial, the other three stand around it. All women are holding hands. Three women wear floral head-dresses, one wears a white headscarf which is being swept into the air. The background features two trees, one without leaves, and a hedge. To the upper right of the page is a text box containing verse printed in red and black. The image is contained within a linear border printed in red ink.

The Walter Crane Archive: 'Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden'

Inspiration for this book came during the Summer of 1898, when the Crane family hired an Elizabethan farmhouse from the writer and publisher Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939). The house was furnished with Pre-Raphaelite paintings and a piano built at William Morris's workshop. Crane obviously made himself at home, as the house's next tenant, the writer Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) witnessed the image of a crane painted on the front door.

The immaculately kept lawns and hedges of this Elizabethan famous provided Crane with an ideal setting for his floral fantasy. Crane portrayed himself languishing, painting and contemplating his garden utopia, accompanied by a beautiful, winged figure wearing the red cap of freedom. his reference to the medieval legend of Rosamond's garden places the story within th realm of 'Old England'.

The Walter Crane Archive: 'Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden'

Inspiration for this book came during the Summer of 1898, when the Crane family hired an Elizabethan farmhouse from the writer and publisher Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939). The house was furnished with Pre-Raphaelite paintings and a piano built at William Morris's workshop. Crane obviously made himself at home, as the house's next tenant, the writer Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) witnessed the image of a crane painted on the front door.

The immaculately kept lawns and hedges of this Elizabethan famous provided Crane with an ideal setting for his floral fantasy. Crane portrayed himself languishing, painting and contemplating his garden utopia, accompanied by a beautiful, winged figure wearing the red cap of freedom. his reference to the medieval legend of Rosamond's garden places the story within th realm of 'Old England'.

Walter Crane (1845-1915)

Born in Liverpool, Crane is best known as a prolific designer and book illustrator. In 1871 after his marriage he spent two years in Italy. He was a member of the Royal Institute from 1882 to 1886 but resigned inorder to become a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1889. In later life Crane was a committed Socialist and follower of William Morris.Walter Crane is well known for his accomplishments in illustration, painting and design. At the age of 13, he became the apprentice of the wood-engraver William James Linton, after which time he became a nursery-book illustrator. Crane drew subjects from his book illustrations for his designs. These complicated patterns often included the motifs of figures, animals and birds. Crane designed wallpapers for Jeffery and Co. between 1874 and 1912. His textile designs were produced by companies such as Liberty, Wardle and Co., Birch, Gibson & Co., and John Wilson. Crane was well-connected in the art world in Great Britain and abroad. He knew William Morris and designed a tapestry for Morris & Co. He attended meeting of The Fifteen from 1882, which later merged with the students of Norman Shaw to become the Art Workers' Guild in 1888. In 1888, Crane became the Master of Guild as well as the President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, of which he was a founder member, and through which he regularly exhibited. Crane also became the Director of Design at Manchester Municipal College in 1893 and the Principal of the Royal College of Art in 1898. In addition to extensive lecturing, Crane wrote books about design theory such as The Bases of Design (1898) and Line and Form (1900).