Our work

Pre-Raphaelite wall painting uncovered

Discover the newly revealed Pre-Raphaelite wall painting at Red House © National Trust / James Breslin

Discover the newly revealed Pre-Raphaelite wall painting at Red House

A remarkable find, this painting of biblical figures from Genesis was uncovered in 2013 in the upstairs bedroom behind a cupboard.

Regular visitors to William Morris's Red House included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown. It is thought that several of these artists collaborated on the wall painting and experts have speculated as to which one painted which figure based on style and technical ability.

The newly revealed decorative scheme under the wallpaper

The newly revealed decorative scheme under the wallpaper

Decoration revealed

The conservation work has also revealed a previously unknown decorative frieze and text from the story of Sir Degrevaunt in the drawing room above the Burne-Jones wall paintings. A repeating floral pattern was then uncovered above the settle which may be one of William Morris's first repeating floral designs. These new discoveries give a tantalising glimpse of how the room may have looked completely decorated.

Hall ceiling cleaned

Before the work: 150 years of grime dulls the original decoration © National Trust/James Breslin

Before the work: 150 years of grime dulls the original decoration

Scaffolding was needed to undertake the cleaning and conservation of the hall ceiling during the winter. 150 years worth of dirt was removed to show the brightly coloured decorative scheme to its best advantage. The ceiling clearly demonstrates the technique Morris used to ensure the repeating pattern was faithfully reproduced each time by asking his workmen to make pin pricks in the plaster.

Hall ceiling cleaned

After the work enjoy the bright decorative ceiling pattern © National Trust/James Breslin

After the work enjoy the bright decorative ceiling pattern

Scaffolding was needed to undertake the cleaning and conservation of the hall ceiling during the winter. 150 years worth of dirt was removed to show the brightly coloured decorative scheme to its best advantage. The ceiling clearly demonstrates the technique Morris used to ensure the repeating pattern was faithfully reproduced each time by asking his workmen to make pin pricks in the plaster.

Share