Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Backgammon Players Cabinet

I'm still working on a bit o' research for an upcoming blog, so today I thought I'd post a Lovely. I have a very very soft spot in my heart for the decorated items produced by the Morris & Co. firm...especially those done by Burne-Jones. I imagine the early days of the company of friends, running around Red House and laughing while painting walls and ceilings with murals and patterns, excitedly gifting each other with wardrobes, chairs, and furniture painted with what we now see as masterpieces of art. While the sheer quantity and quality of work that was eventually created by just a small handful of people can be intimidating, to look at their early days gives me hope to just start creating...just try. After all..."The life so short...the craft so long to learn..."

I digress...I am currently enjoying the book Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer. For such a prolific artist with such respect and profound influence, it's not that easy to find books and images of his work. He was already my favorite of the first and second generation Pre-Raphaelites, but perusing the images in the book just put my respect for him on a whole new level. For some reason, one of my favorite items by him is the Backgammon Players Cabinet. It amazes me infinitely how Burne-Jones was able to use a variety of mediums....paint, sketches, tile, mosaic, stained glass, woodwork...and yet maintain a style that made it clearly his own work on every piece.
The Backgammon Players sketch.
The Backgammon Players painting.

I admire how this same piece can be done as a sketch, painting, then piece of furniture, and each one can be admired separately as a masterpiece of art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
has a page at which you can zoom in and admire details of the Backgammon Players Cabinet.


Anonymous said...

This is what you can buy me for my birthday. :D

You really DO find the most marvelous things--this is incredible!!! :D

Grace said...

How about we pitch in together, and keep it at each of our houses for half a year? It'll be our Persephone ;)

Anonymous said...

I think that is a most excellent idea! :D