The Rats and the Grapes The Rats and the Grapes The Rats and the Grapes The Rats and the Grapes The Rats and the Grapes The Rats and the Grapes

The Rats and the Grapes

This design should be easy to recognize as it is painted in the style of Arts and Crafts master English designer, William Morris.

The client has a mixture of contemporary art and Pugin designed modern Gothic furniture from the 1860′s featured in this dining room. With these elements in mind, the original intention was a straight forward, hand rendered stencil, and evolved into an elaborate installation with each vignette depicting a different interaction between its featured rats.

The design stays very tight on all four walls to give the illusion that it is as seamless as printed wallpaper, but a closer look reveals sprouting mushrooms, Texas stars, polar bears, pretzels, rats involved in vicious bottle brawls,  romancing over cigarettes, and celebrating with birthday cakes. There are also a few Devon Rex cats included as an homage to the clients beloved pets. This is  contemporary bent on a familiar visual rhythm. The print this was taken from a textile design intended to illustrate the Aesop’s fable, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’.

             One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

This was hand rendered, designed and gilded.

This project was also featured in Design Sponge. Big thanks to Grace!