Monday, 6 September 2010

Mermaids and Multivines

A recent commission to paint a swirling Elizabethan Multivine design. 

The finished painted wall
Mel and Dave painting the design

We painted this design between the studding of an attic bedroom in a Grade II listed Elizabethan house in Mermaid Street, Rye.

Mermaid Street, Rye

The original design was discovered painted on the walls of a house in Canterbury which is why we have named the design The Canterbury Multivine. Whilst the house is long since demolished, fortunately the painting was recorded as a watercolour just before the bulldozers moved in. Thanks to this sketch we were able to reconstruct what we know was a popular style of design in the 16th century.

A detail of the original watercolour

As Elizabethan wall painting designs go this is one of the more subtle and pretty of them with a loose flowing arrangement of flowers, leaves, acorns and fruit. As with most Elizabethan wall paintings this design has its appertaining frieze across the top.  The colours consist of a simple palette of earth colours: shades of yellow and red ochre and terre verte.

We have enjoyed using this elegant design over the years in different settings. Here are some examples (not terribly good quality photos I'm afraid - these are scans from photos - pre-digital era!) 
Canterbury Multivine - Exhibition stand at Period Living Fair
Canterbury Multivine painted on kitchen walls  (private client)
Canterbury Multivine painted between beams in a library (private client)

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