First published in 1842, this volume made an important contribution to the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival, during which English artists rediscovered decorative styles from their country's medieval past. Few published sources of the Victorian era offered information on historic designs, and The Encyclopedia of Ornament was warmly received and widely praised for the meticulous rendering of its plates. Modern-day graphic artists and designers, art historians, and students of the history of style and decoration will likewise prize this extensive treasury of authentic designs. Arranged in chronological order, this richly illustrated compilation traces a long history of ornamentation: ironwork of the thirteenth century; painted tiles of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries; wood carvings and panels of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; fifteenth-century ornamental drapery; sixteenth-century book bindings; designs for jewelry, plate, and other decorative items by Hans Holbein and his contemporaries; lace and needlework of the seventeenth century; and architectural ornaments and stained glass of various periods from English and French cathedrals.
More than a pictorial archive of medieval dress and decoration, this beautiful collection is also valuable for its discerning scholarship. A magnificent compilation of artwork from Henry Shaw's detailed study of court life in the Middle Ages, this splendid book provides a grand display of medieval figures and fashions of the times. Reproduced directly from Shaw's original, hand-colored plates and identified by brief captions, more than 200 superb illustrations depict knights in battle, ladies in waiting, kings, queens, popes, and commoners, as well as armor and weapons, jewelry, and other decorative accessories. Skillfully adapted from rare paintings, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, textiles, and stained glass windows, these lovely illustrations will be invaluable to fashion historians and costume designers. Craftworkers will find them equally useful.
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