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Look Inside The Art of Decorative Design

The Art of Decorative Design


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Art and Architecture

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108080408

£ 21.99

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About the Authors
  • Christopher Dresser (1834–1904) was arguably the first British industrial designer, and this 1862 work was his most influential book. He worked in a variety of media, from wallpaper and textile design to metalwork and ceramics, but was also a botanist, and his two professorial roles in fine and ornamental arts, at the South Kensington Museum and the Crystal Palace, included the teaching of botany. Unlike William Morris, Dresser believed that good design could and should be mass-produced by industrial methods, so that it became affordable to all classes. He describes here how decorative ornament should be used in design, the importance of taking inspiration from natural (usually plant) models, and issues of proportion, balance and gradation. The book, which encouraged the rising middle classes to decorate their homes themselves, is highly illustrated: the colour plates can be viewed online at, by clicking on the 'Resources' button.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108080408
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 162 b/w illus. 24 colour illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Primarily, on the nature and character of ornament
    2. The ministrations of plants to ornament
    3. Grades in decorative art
    4. The affinity of the aesthetic arts
    5. Analysis of ornamental forms
    6. Order
    7. Repetition
    8. Curves
    9. Proportion
    10. Alternation
    11. Adaptation
    12. The power of ornament to express feelings and ideas
    13. Principles common to ornament

  • Author

    Christopher Dresser

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