Browse the collection

On display

Minstrel with Cymbals (1880s)

William Morris (1834 - 1896)

There are two versions of the minstrel design. The original cartoon for the minstrel figure was drawn by William Morris in 1868 for the East window of St.John's church, Dalton, Yorks.; this version, in which the minstrel has wings, was for a series of minstrel angels subsequently re-used in many Morris & Co. windows. [e.g. Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge (south transept south window tracery, 1873), Llandaff Cathedral (nave, south aisle, tracery, 1869), Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk (east window 1882).The winged version of the design was numbered WM 40 in the Morris & Co. Catalogue of Designs. It was also used for the painted organ screen executed by Morris & Co. for Beddington Church, Surrey in 1869. At some point this panel has been altered to fit a new window space, and in doing so, some areas of the border and background appear to have been re-shaped. The lower part of the figure, including the hem of the robe, the ankles and the feet, have been removed along with most of the green base representing grass.