Owen Jones (1809-1874)

Jones, an architect and ornamental designer who served as superintendent of works at the Great Exhibition of 1851, was instrumental in the application of chromolithography to book illustration. In his travels as a young man he became fascinated by Eastern forms, and the books he published reproducing these patterns influenced the design of English wallpaper, carpets, and furniture.

The Grammar of Ornament, one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century color printing, is a systematic presentation of ornamental motifs from the ancient world through the Renaissance. There are several thousand examples; each plate depicts a group with common chronological and geographical origins. The individual plates, lithographed by Francis Bedford, are tied together by a unified color scheme. As the title suggests, Jones intended the work to be used as a practical guide and resource for designers, and the introduction includes a set of principles covering "the arrangement of form and color."

 

Sources: www.lib.udel.edu

 


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