Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 210 (no. 603).
Instigated by a “great idea” suggested by Mrs. Morris,
DGR sent this comic sketch in a letter to her of 4 August 1869, with the
following commentary: “You see your great idea has not been sown
in barren soil but has immediately borne fruit. I fear that the legitimate leglessness
of the pictorial and ideal Topsy has somewhat communicated itself to the
German maid in the cartoon, and even you have rather a Georgian air. But
these are minor defects. The poetry and philosophy of the subject
are I hope complete, while you will see that even Scriptural analogy
has not been neglected” (
Fredeman, Correspondence, 69. 112
The German maid is evidently giving Morris the German translations for various articles of clothing, while Mrs. Morris lies on a sofa writing. The picture of Adam and Eve on the wall is inscribed, in German, “The Earthly Paradise”,
alluding ironically both to Morris's epic poem and to the domestic world of the Morrises.