George Frederick Watts, Mrs Percy Wyndham (study), c. 1877.

[Oscar Wilde] was taken up by the exclusive coterie known as the ‘Souls’, a group of cultured, aristocratic politicians and their artistic wives, who prided themselves on making their own rules in matters of etiquette and on their faultless taste in art and decoration. They had been stung at being labelled ‘Barbarians’ by Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy (published 1869; the middle classes did not escape unscathed either, being stigmatised as ‘Philistines’) and they were out to prove their social fearlessness, their openness to new ideas and their high-minded frugality. They ventured far from their townhouses in Mayfair and Belgravia … to artists’ studios in Kensington. In return, they entertained artists in their ancestral homes, eagerly seeking advice on decorating and furnishing. …
…
Among the Souls, the Wyndham family probably best exemplified the crossover between the aristocracy and the art world. The Hon. Percy and Mrs Wyndham, Madeline, were noted patrons of contemporary art … Their Belgravia house, with its wall-paintings by [Frederic, Lord] Leighton, was decorated by a leading art movement architect, George Aitchison. Philip Webb was the architect and William Morris the decorator of their Wiltshire mansion, Clouds. A Wyndham daughter, Mary, met Arthur Balfour, future Prime Minister and the man with whom she was to conduct a lifelong amitié amoureuse, in Leighton’s Holland Park Road studio. …
The Wyndhams were pioneers of antique collecting as a way of furnishing; they claimed that the contents of Clouds had taken twenty-five years to collect. The result was described as ‘a glorified Kate Greenaway affair, all blue and white inside, and all red and green outside’. The hall was hung with an enormous Morris & Co. tapestry and a wonderful carpet woven by the firm covered the drawing-room floor. Morris fabrics were used throughout the house. The Wyndhams loved old Oriental rugs and antique textiles.
—Charlotte Gere and Lesley Hoskins, 2000

George Frederick Watts, Mrs Percy Wyndham (study), c. 1877.

[Oscar Wilde] was taken up by the exclusive coterie known as the ‘Souls’, a group of cultured, aristocratic politicians and their artistic wives, who prided themselves on making their own rules in matters of etiquette and on their faultless taste in art and decoration. They had been stung at being labelled ‘Barbarians’ by Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy (published 1869; the middle classes did not escape unscathed either, being stigmatised as ‘Philistines’) and they were out to prove their social fearlessness, their openness to new ideas and their high-minded frugality. They ventured far from their townhouses in Mayfair and Belgravia … to artists’ studios in Kensington. In return, they entertained artists in their ancestral homes, eagerly seeking advice on decorating and furnishing. …

Among the Souls, the Wyndham family probably best exemplified the crossover between the aristocracy and the art world. The Hon. Percy and Mrs Wyndham, Madeline, were noted patrons of contemporary art … Their Belgravia house, with its wall-paintings by [Frederic, Lord] Leighton, was decorated by a leading art movement architect, George Aitchison. Philip Webb was the architect and William Morris the decorator of their Wiltshire mansion, Clouds. A Wyndham daughter, Mary, met Arthur Balfour, future Prime Minister and the man with whom she was to conduct a lifelong amitié amoureuse, in Leighton’s Holland Park Road studio. …

The Wyndhams were pioneers of antique collecting as a way of furnishing; they claimed that the contents of Clouds had taken twenty-five years to collect. The result was described as ‘a glorified Kate Greenaway affair, all blue and white inside, and all red and green outside’. The hall was hung with an enormous Morris & Co. tapestry and a wonderful carpet woven by the firm covered the drawing-room floor. Morris fabrics were used throughout the house. The Wyndhams loved old Oriental rugs and antique textiles.

—Charlotte Gere and Lesley Hoskins, 2000

#George Frederick Watts      #Madeline Wyndham      #The Souls      #Victorian      #Aestheticism      #Academicism      #Painting      #Interiors      

1 year ago