Walter Crane’s “Lion & Dove”

Posted on | December 5, 2008 | 1 Comment

Over the last 30 years we have reproduced hundreds of patterns from wallpapers past, and although they all have the obvious visual appeal by their use of line and color, behind many of them is also a fascinating and unseen history or inspiration…

Our Lion & Dove frieze, is an excellent example of this. This magnificent work was originally the creation of the talented and prolific 19th century illustrator (and social activist) Walter Crane, it being his critical response to the bloody and protracted Second Boer War (1899-1902) fought between British forces and two South African republics.

In this very floral design (c.1901) Crane features the belligerent British Imperial Lion being gently pacified by the white Dove of Peace. The meandering banner text “The Wilderness shall blossom as the ROSE” is a paraphrase of the prophetic words found in the first verse of the Bible book of Isaiah, the 35th chapter.

Customers love this frieze, but have often been a little puzzled by it. Hopefully this takes some of the mystery out of it! We will share more of these “Wallpaper Stories” in future posts, so stay tuned!


One Response to “Walter Crane’s “Lion & Dove””

  1. Win a Walter Crane Lion & Dove poster from Bradbury & Bradbury — Retro Renovation
    October 5th, 2011 @ 4:36 am

    [...] poster (see the dimensions here) actually has an interesting, historical story, Steve explained on the Bradbury Blog:This magnificent work was originally the creation of the talented and prolific 19th century [...]


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