Sunday, December 17, 2017

Architectural Wallpaper Patterns from England

Anonymous English designer
Gothic Architecture
ca. 1820
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

"Wallpapers illustrating elements of Gothic architecture were popular in the early 19th century.  This one was hung in the Ostrich Hotel at Castle Acre near Swaffham, Norfolk, around 1820.  It  might have been chosen for its relevance to local sights and scenes.  Castle Acre contained a number of ruinous Gothic buildings, notably the Priory church, for which it was well known.  At a time when tourists were often interested in ruins and antiquities, a Gothic wallpaper would have been an apt choice of decoration for a hotel.  In 1841 the architect and designer A.W.N. Pugin wrote dismissively of 'What are commonly termed Gothic pattern papers for hanging on walls, where a wretched caricature of a pointed building is repeated from skirting to cornice, door over pinnacle and pinnacle over door'.  He noted that there was 'a great variety of these miserable patterns', and that the style was 'a great favourite with hotel and tavern keepers'."

– curator's notes from the Victorian & Albert Museum

Anonymous English designer
Imitation Marble Panels
ca. 1830-40
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
Imitation Moulded Plaster-work
ca. 1830
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
Imitation Tile-work
ca. 1850
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
Cornices with Classical Mountings
ca. 1825-50
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Cowtan & Son
Trompe l'oeil Stonework and Swags
ca. 1840
block-printed wallpaper border
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Arthur Sanderson & Sons
Trompe l'oeil Moulding
ca. 1840-70
block-printed wallpaper border
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Potters of Darwen, Lancashire
Perspective Views of Railway Station
ca. 1853
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

"In the 1850s wallpapers with pictorial patterns seem to have been very popular and were sold in large quantities.  However, art educators such as Richard Redgrave and Henry Cole considered such papers to be examples of bad design because they gave the illusion of three dimensions on a flat wall surface.  But despite these faults there were some critics, such as a writer in the trade journal The Builder (1851), who believed that pictorial wallpapers were suitable for 'the houses of the humbler classes of society', especially if the subject depicted was educational.  Most papers of this kind have not survived, but it is likely that they were used to decorate social spaces such as railway station waiting rooms, cheap hotels or public bars."

– curator's notes from the Victorian & Albert Museum

Anonymous English designer
Gothic Revival design with Landscape Vignettes
ca. 1840-50
block-printed wallpaper
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York

Anonymous English designer
Views of the International Exhibition of 1862, London 
ca. 1862
block-printed-wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co.
Frieze with Caryatids for Alcestis Pattern Wallpaper
1876
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co.
Frieze with Caryatids for Alcestis Pattern Wallpaper
1876
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co.
Frieze with Caryatids for Alcestis Pattern Wallpaper
1876
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co.
Frieze with Caryatids for Alcestis Pattern Wallpaper
1876
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Block-Printed English Wallpapers

Essex & Co.
Ribbon Frieze
ca. 1908
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

James Huntington
Huntington Rosette
ca. 1840-60
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
Nursery Frieze - Dutch Girls
ca. 1910
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Jeffrey & Co.
Frieze - Elgin Marbles
1851
block-printed  wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Arthur Sanderson & Co.
Border - Bourbon Rose
ca. 1840-50
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

PICKING

Go ahead, you pick, it makes absolutely no difference to me.
They should too, I'm not just saying it,
go ahead and pick, for me any of them are just fine.
You like this one? take it then.
Or this one? you're not sure? you like both?
take them both, there's plenty.
Only one? whatever you want, think about it, no rush, this one?
me? what do you want me to say, you're the one who's got to like it,
my opinion is that I think it looks good, you think so too?
so take it then.
And the rest of you, don't just stand there frozen in place,
first you're laughing, and now you're all stressed out?
pick whichever one you want, I haven't even given it a thought,
they're all the same to me, do I h ave to draw you a picture?
But you, we're not settled anymore? I can see it in your face,
you're having second thoughts? you want to make a change?
what are you looking at? show me, you want that one?
go on, put back the other one, you know you've really got a good eye.
So now, everyone's picked?
And this one's left for me, well just look at that,
I hadn't even given it a thought,
you know what I've got to say to all of you?
that if I'd been the one with first choice this is the one I'd have picked.
But then again, really, they're all nice.
At any rate, we're all even, one for everyone,
no bickering, you're looking at me, you're not happy?
you want this one?

– Raffaello Baldini (1924-2005), translated by Adria Bernardi

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co.
Dado - Robed Male Figures in Boat
1877
block-printed-wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
Salmon-fishing in the Highlands
ca. 1870
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co
Frieze fragment - Peacock
1878
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co
Rosamund
1908
block-printed wallpaper
 Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Thomas Avery
Corner-piece
ca. 1850
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Jeffrey & Co
Albion
ca. 1882
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walter Crane for Jeffrey & Co
Oak
1904
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

William Morris
Acanthus
1875
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Anonymous English designer
'Print Room'
ca. 1760
block-printed wallpaper
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Idealized Domestic Spaces in 19th-century Europe

Rudolf von Alt
Library in the Apartment of Count Lanckoronski in Vienna
1881
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

the library of t-shirts

in order to upgrade the community's appreciation of poetry during the international year of cultural enrichment stage 2, members of the state's library progress committee decided to establish a small library of t-shirts on which would be printed quality verse in bold colours and lettering. the poems would be selected on the basis of one of three qualities: is the poem poignant, perspicacious, or pithy.

given the respectably researched fact that the wearing of words on t-shirts expresses a deep psychic desire for an intimate union of word and flesh, (and bear in mind the way "logo" nudges towards "logos") it is not surprising that this library of t-shirts has been a great success. no one seems to mind borrowing pre-worn clothing. of course the library's washing and ironing staff maintain the t-shirts in excellent condition. even after ten borrowings the shirts look brand new. and considering the phenomenal success of andrew lloyd webber's "cats" it is no shock revelation that t.s. eliot's "hollow men" has proved to be the library's most popular t-shirt so far. in fact there are now eight copies of this shirt on loan, most in metallic or fluoro colours.

a couple of the more entrepreneurial of the library's progress committee members are leading the push for diversification of the library's poetry program, into neck to knee anti-uv swimwear, with maybe slessor, shelly and stevie smith prints for starters; and into underpants, with their multiple attractions.

while the committee feels both these garments could increase poetry's appeal, they are worried about the practicability of adding these garments to the t-shirt poetry collection. would many members want to borrow pre-worn underpants, however compelling the poems' cadences and metaphors; while the wear and tear on the swimming costume fabric via chlorine and salt water would perhaps be too great. however they are interested in marketing and selling these articles from a stall in the library's foyer. the only committee member unenthusiastic regarding this proposal is an optometrist who has raised the issue of eye damage if the typeface of the lines of verse on the underpants were too small. a solution in the form of large print haikus is being considered.

 Joanne Burns from penelope's knees (University of Queensland Press, 1996)

George Pyne
George James Drummond's Room at Oxford
1853
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Wilhelm Amadeus Beer
Sitting Room with Writing Table
1867
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Friedrich Wilhelm Klose
Room in Schloss Buchwald
ca. 1840-45
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Friedrich Wilhelm Klose
Red Room in Schloss Fischbach
ca. 1846
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Friedrich Wilhelm Klose
Blue Room in Schloss Fischbach
1846
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Eduard Petrovich Hau
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna's Sitting Room, Cottage Palace, Saint Petersburg
ca. 1835
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous Austrian artist
Bedroom
ca. 1853
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Elizabeth Pochhammer
Apartments of Queen Elizabeth of Prussia, Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin
1864
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Caspar Obach
Salon, Stuttgart
ca. 1850-60
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Ferdinand le Feubure
Bedroom of King Pedro IV of Portugal, Palace of Queluz
1850
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Franz Xaver Nachtmann
Dressing Room of King Ludwig I, Munich Residence Palace
1836
gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

M. Sekim
Room in the Governor's Residence at Hermannstadt
ca. 1840
watercolor, gouache
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Countess Schoenberg
Salon Siebleben near Gotha
1856
watercolor
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Friday, December 15, 2017

Seasons in Pictures and Words

attributed to Hendrik van Balen
Cybele and the Seasons, with Garland
ca. 1615
oil on panel
Prado, Madrid

Giuseppe Maria Crespi
Apotheosis of Hercules, with the Four Seasons
ca. 1700
ceiling fresco
Palazzo Pepoli-Campogrande, Bologna

Bartolomeo Manfredi
Allegory of the Four Seasons
ca. 1610
oil on canvas
Dayton Art Institute, Ohio

ALL WORLDLY PLEASURES FADE

The winter with his griefly stormes no lenger dare abyde,
The pleasant grasse, with lusty grene, the earth hath newly dyde.
The trees have leves, the bowes down spread, new changed is the yere.
The water brokes are cleane sanke down, the pleasant bankes apere.
The spring is come, the goodly nymphes now dance in every place
Thus hath the yere most pleasantly of late ychangde his face.
Hope for no immortalitie, for wealth will weare away,
As we may learne by every yere, yea howres of every day.
For Zepharus doth mollifye the colde and blustering windes:
The somers drought doth take away the spryng out of our minds.
And yet the somer cannot last, but once must step asyde,
The Autumn thinkes to kepe his place, but Autumn cannot bide.
For when he hath brought furth his fruits and stuft the barns with corn,
The winter eates and empties all, and thus is Autumn worne.
Then hory frostes possesse the place, the tempestes work much harm,
The rage of stormes done make al colde which somer had made so warm
Wherefore let no man put his trust in that, that will decay,
For slipper wealth will not continue, pleasure will weare away.
For when that we have lost our lyfe, and lye under a stone,
What are we then, we are but earth, then is our pleasure gon.
No man can tell what god almight of every wight doth cast,
No man can say to day I live, till morne my life shall last.
For when thou shalt before thy judge stand to receive thy doom,
What sentence Minos doth pronounce that must of thee become.
Then shall not noble stock and blud redeme thee from his handes,
Nor sugared talke with eloquence shal lowse thee from his handes.
Nor yet thy lyfe uprightly led, can help thee out of hell,
For who descendeth downe so depe, must there abyde and dwell.
Diana could not thence deliver chaste Hyppolitus,
Nor Theseus could not call to life his friende Perithous.

– translated anonymously from the Odes of Horace and published (1557) in Tottel's Miscellany

Nicolas Poussin
Four Seasons (Spring) - Garden of Eden
1660-64
oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris

Nicolas Poussin
Four Seasons (Summer) - Ruth and Boaz
1660-64
oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris

Nicolas Poussin
Four Seasons (Autumn) - Return of the Spies
1660-64
oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris

Nicolas Poussin
Four Seasons (Winter) - The Deluge
1660-64
oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris

Francesco Foschi
Winter Landscape with Figures
ca. 1750-80
oil on canvas
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Francesco Foschi
Winter Landscape with Peasant Family
ca. 1750-80
oil on canvas
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Denys van Alsloot
Winter Landscape
1610
oil on panel
Louvre, Paris

Francisco Goya
Tapestry cartoon - Snowstorm
1786
oil on canvas
Prado, Madrid

William Williams
Thunderstorm with the Death of Amelia
(illustration of 'Summer' from James Thomson's poem, The Seasons)

1784
oil on canvas
Tate Britain

Caspar David Friedrich
Monk by the Sea
ca. 1808-10
oil on canvas
Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin

John Singer Sargent
Mannequin in the Snow
ca. 1891-93
oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York