The previous post about Christopher Dresser’s design studies proved popular so here’s another discovery from the same source. A surprise this time was seeing the middle motif on the page above; I have this separated from its neighbours in a collection of Art Nouveau graphics, and used it on the slipcase of a Cradle of Filth CD in 2002. Studies in Design (1876) is a collection of colour plates of Dresser’s design work. Some of these emulate medieval or Arabian/Persian decoration but the most interesting examples for me are Dresser’s more personal pieces. Once you’ve seen a few of these his style is easy to recognise. Thanks to some searching by Mr TjZ I now know that a number of collections of Dresser’s designs are available from (who else?) Dover Publications. More for the shopping list.
Continue reading “Christopher Dresser’s Studies in Design”
Studies of decorative design are numerous but this one stands out for the quality of its colour plates, all of which show a variety of designs derived from plants and flowers. The Art of Decorative Design (1862) is one of a number of design books published in the wake of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the most celebrated being Owen Jones’ lavish Grammar of Ornament. Christopher Dresser was a professor of ornamental art and botany who here continues where The Grammar of Ornament ends, exploring the floral design that’s a recurrent feature of Victorian decoration. What’s most remarkable for me about some of these designs is the way they prefigure the forms of Art Nouveau, a style that wouldn’t emerge for another thirty years.
Continue reading “Christopher Dresser’s Art of Decorative Design”