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Title:Victorian Ornamental Design
To the Victorians decoration was a very serious concern. Inferior to pictorial art, according to Ruskin who was expressing a widely held view, but nevertheless to be studied with the same care that a musician devotes to harmony and counterpoint. It is over the question of ornament that we are most separated from the Victorians in our attitude towards design. We are able to admire their daring use of newly discovered techniques and their understanding of structure but are irritated by their application of ornament to forms that we have no difficulty in accepting as complete in themselves. Ornament, the twentieth century has been taught, obscures form. The Victorians saw ornament as a response to a deeply rooted desire to decorate. Did not all men, however primitive the condition of their society, pro- duce decoration however rudimentary? It was this acceptance of ornament as a necessity that enabled them to approach it with a single mindedness and dedication we find alien.
Second hand Paperback