LondonLife – Pre-Raphaelite wall painting discovered at Red House…

August 20, 2013

Red-House-Wallpainting,-l-to-r---Adam-Eve-Noah-Rachel-Jacob

A remarkable Pre-Raphaelite painting has been found painted on the wall of a Bexleyheath house lived in by artist William Morris. The bedroom wall painting at Red House, which is believed to have been painted by Morris and other Pre-Raphaelites, was hidden behind a wardrobe and covered by wallpaper for years with only two figures from the painting visible. But following two months of conservation work by the National Trust – which acquired the property in south-east London in 2003 – a six by eight foot image has been discovered depicting Biblical characters such as Adam and Eve, Noah, and Rachel and Jacob. Designed to resemble a hanging tapestry, the image also contained faded and incomplete lines of text which have been identified as being from the Biblical book of Genesis (chapter 30, verse six). Morris lived at the house between 1860 and 1865, during which time Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his wife Elizabeth Siddal, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown were regular visitors. It is understood his friends helped decorate the property’s walls, ceilings and items of furniture with wall paintings and patterns. While it is thought Jacob was painted by Morris, Rachel possibly by Elizabeth Siddal and Noah by Madox Brown, further research is being undertaken to help identify who painted which image. For details on visiting times and how to get to the property, check out www.nationaltrust.org.uk/red-house/. PICTURES:  © National Trust / James Breslin and, © National Trust.

Red-House

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One Response to “LondonLife – Pre-Raphaelite wall painting discovered at Red House…”


  1. I love the idea that Morris’ friends helped decorate Red House’s walls, ceilings and items of furniture with wall paintings and patterns. But if the murals were meant to represent a cheaper version of hanging tapestries, it is sad that the images faded so badly.

    If contemporary drawings or descriptions of the murals survived, perhaps the murals can be renovated back to their original condition.

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