Sunday, 24 November 2013

An Artistic Interior in Hampstead

"Miss Redpath was a cousin of one of the leading Pre-Raphaelites (I think Holman Hunt) and the interior of her house had already acquired a strong period flavour.  Immediately on entering one was confronted with a large reproduction of 'May Morning on Magdalen Tower' with an affectionate message from the artist scrawled on the mount, and on all sides one was conscious of Burne-Jones maidens yearning at one in sanguine chalk above bosky thickets of honesty and cape-gooseberries tastefully arranged in polished copper pots.  Elsewhere were many brass-rubbings of recumbent knights and innumerable Arundel prints, while the presence of several Della Robbia plaques, a set of faded, purplish photographs of the Gozzoli frescoes in the Medici Chapel  and some small, painstaking water-colours of Assisi, indicated that their owner shared to the full the Italophil enthusiasm of the late Victorians.  The two small ground-floor rooms in which, against Morris wallpapers, all these treasures were displayed were connected by an open arch so that it was possible on the moment of entry to see right through the house to the little orchard beyond.   This, besides filling the interior with a green, filtered light, invariably suggested to me the scene that would be revealed were one to walk through the range of buildings in the background of Millais' Autumn Leaves."

All Done from Memory Osbert Lancaster

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