Third child to his father, William Morris was born on March 24, 1834, in Waithamstow, East London. An artist par excellence, William Morris was an architect, writer, poet, designer, and a socialist by heart. A frontrunner of ‘Arts & Crafts’ and ‘British Socialism,’ the artist finished his education from Marlborough and Exeter College, Oxford. While in college, Morris founded Oxford & Cambridge magazines. He used these magazines to display his poetic works. Some of his best-known works are ‘The Defense of Guinevere and Other Poems’ (1858), ‘The Earthly Paradise’ (1868-1870), ‘A Dream of John Ball,’ and ‘the Utopian News from Nowhere.’ The artist also founded a forum for the development of handicrafts in ‘Decorative Arts.’ His Most Famous Tapestry “The Tree of Life” is a concrete example of William’s competence.
After completing his studies, Morris started tree of life meaning his career as an apprentice to the architect G.E. Street. In 1861, the artist, along with Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, founded a design firm. Based on his inspection of nature William Morris started designing for wallpapers and textiles. The artist married Miss Jane Burden in April 1869. He met Jane while he was in Oxford. After marriage, William Morris devoted himself towards the ‘Decorative Arts’ and eventually founded a firm of decorative artists. He actually took it to another level where decoration of house and monuments not only remained an art; it rather became a ‘Fine Art.’ “The Tree of Life” ascertains this approach.
1879 onwards, Morris started teaching working designers and art students. He fully enjoyed his role as a teacher and stuck to this profession afterwards. William Morris’ design company, Morris & Company produced some high -quality tapestry works. An art like ‘Tapestry Designing,’ which had become a dying art, the artist gave its life back with creativity, innovation, and design. The master of tapestry himself learnt it by installing a loom in his bedroom. There are over 150 fabulous works of tapestry, including “The Tree of Life,” available today corroborate the greatness of William Morris.
“The Tree of Life” has a complex & colorful pattern of flowing leaves and branches, coming out of a tree. The whole pattern symbolizes the positive flourishing life. Interestingly, “The Tree of Life” is one of the commonest themes of all of William’s tapestry works. Even in his wallpaper works, this subject is eminent. ‘Mille Fleurs,’ the ‘Medieval Decorative Technique,’ inspired most of the backgrounds of the artist’s works with heavily decorated backgrounds. It can be easily seen that the tree is lined and has a tunnel made for the hanging purpose. William Morris, influenced by ‘Pre-Renaissance Art’ and ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ approach, was not too keen about mass production. The same was the destiny of the production of “The Tree of Life.” William Morris died on October 03, 1896