The Woodpecker tapestry

The Woodpecker tapestry -William Morris tapestries

The Woodpecker Tapestry shows a woodpecker in a fruit tree, designed by William Morris and woven by Morris & Co in 1877. With most of the company's output being a collaborative effort involving several artists, the Woodpecker tapestry is unusual in that it was one of the very few designed by William Morris in its entirety. It shows a woodpecker sitting in the branch of a fruit tree and features Morris's distinctive ornate background of leaves, reminiscent of Mille Fleurs and his legendary attention to detail.

The idea for the piece was inspired by the legend of Picus, an ancient Italian king turned into a woodpecker by the sorceress Circe because of her jealousy of the king's love for his wife, as recounted by Ovid in Metamorphoses. This version of the tapestry is inscribed with the following verse:

I once a King and chief • Now am the tree-bark’s thief • Ever ‘twixt trunk and leaf • Chasing the prey

The original Woodpecker tapestry is especially cherished by admirers of Morris because of his personal involvement. It can now been seen on display at the William Morris Gallery in London. The tapestry is also available without the verse.

William Morris tapestries

It is one of our most popular William Morris tapestries (the other being the Tree of Life). This tapestry is woven in France, lined and has a tunnel for ease of hanging. Please note that the above image shows the larger size. The smaller size has a slightly lighter colour.

Tammy in Minnesota wrote this tapestry review on Google after purchasing The Woodpecker: "These tapestries are becoming difficult to find. I found that the workmanship was excellent as was the service. I would recommend The Tapestry House to anyone with an love of this kind of work."

William Morris tapestries - The Woodpecker

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The Woodpecker tapestry

AC010AL

$150.00

The Woodpecker Tapestry shows a woodpecker in a fruit tree, designed by William Morris and woven by Morris & Co in 1877. With most of the company's output being a...MORE

*All prices are in USD