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Poet, designer and socialist; contributed a fresco to Oxford Union (1857), with Rossetti, Burne-Jones and others; married Jane Burden (1859); founded famous firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, later Morris & Co; through his own designs, especially for wallpaper, and those of his firm, profoundly influenced Victorian taste; published important books of poetry, Defence of Guenevere (1858), and Earthly Paradise (1868–1870); helped to found Socialist League, and wrote socialist tracts; started Kelmscott Press (1890). On 15 April 1870 William Morris wrote to his wife Janey (who at the time was having an affair with Dante Gabriel Rossetti), 'I am going to sit to Watts this afternoon, though I have got a devil of a cold-in-the-head, which don't make it very suitable.
oil on canvas
H 64.8 x W 52.1 cm
Given by George Frederick Watts, 1897