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The Grammar of Ornament is by any standards a remarkable book. When it was first published in 1856, it was the first time that so many illustrations of ornament, of many periods and from many countries, had ever been shown in color in one work. It was the concept of Owen Jones (1808–74), a young Welsh architect, who at the age of twenty-three went on his grand tour to visit Turkey, Egypt, Sicily, and Spain. In Granada he became fascinated by the Alhambra Palace, in which at that time visitors could actually choose their own suites of room and take up residence. Jones made detailed drawings of the Palace, and in August 1834, he returned to England carrying not only his drawings, but also an enormous number of casts: "To ensure perfect accuracy, an impression of every ornament throughout the palace was taken, either in plaster or with unsized paper, the low relief of the ornaments of the Alhambra rendering them peculiarly susceptible of this process."
Jones’ aim was not to produce general artistic views, but to provide scientific accuracy in making an exact and detailed record of ornaments and colored decorations consisting largely of flat bright colors in geometric patterns. He could not find any printer in London able to meet his requirements; with the help of lithographic printers Day and Haghe he set up his own lithographic press and trained his own workmen at his own expense, having to sell part of the Welsh estate left him by his father to pay the costs of printing. Jones’ first book, Plans, Details, and Sections of the Alhambra, was the first of many projects leading toward his magnum opus, The Grammar of Ornament.
Commentary by Ruari McLean.
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Imaged from the Cary Collection of the Rochester Institute of TechnologyAbout the Author:
Owen Jones was an architect and designer who taught at the South Kensington School of Design, London, during the 1850s and served as joint architect of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The following year he was appointed Director of Decorations for the new Crystal Palace exhibition in Sydenham, south London. The Grammar of Ornament, his legacy to designers, quickly acquired the status of a classic. He died in 1874. Iain Zaczek, who has contributed the commentaries, is an art historian who graduated from Wadham College, Oxford University, and the Courtauld Institute, London. He has written on a wide variety of topics, but his special interest is in nineteenth-century art. He is the author of The Essential William Morris, The Essential Art Deco, and The Art of Illuminated Manuscripts.
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Book Description London: Day and Son, Limited (Oakland: Octavo) 1856; 1998, 1856. No Binding. Condition: New. 1st Edition. Digital facsimile (in PDF format on 2 CD-ROMs) of the 1856 first edition of one of the most important books on ornamental design ever published. A still-useful monument of the study of design, The Grammar of Ornament marked the first time that so many illustrations of ornament from so many places and periods had been shown in color in one work. This Octavo Edition contains detailed digital images (may be magnified at up to 300% of original size; includes the color plates from the 1868 edition) as well as a new introduction by Ruari McLean, an essay on Chromolithography by David Pankow, and detailed bibliographical information. This high-resolution version presents this work in the most detailed and accurate reproduction ever. Seller Inventory # 8VJOGO03
Book Description Octavo, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1891788167