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14 October 2019
Jane Morris as La Belle Iseult 1858 is the only completed easel painting that William Morris produced. It is a portrait in medieval dress of Jane Burden, whom Morris married in April 1859. Bearing in mind that in 1880 Morris said famously, ‘Have nothing in our houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’, this painting is particularly fascinating because it so messy! Iseult appears to have recently arisen from her bed, where a small greyhound lies curled up among the crumpled sheets.Many of the furnishings such as the Turkish rug, Persian embroidered cover and whitework hangings on the bed were probably in Morris’s personal collection.
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