Design for Painted Decoration

ca. 1855 - 1881 (made)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

William Burges began designing furniture early in his career, in the mid-1850s, and continued until his death in 1881. Generally heavy, sculptural, extensively carved, and with medieval decorations, his furniture stood out in the 19th century particularly for its unique application of painted decoration. Following a medieval fashion of design, Burges applied painted decoration to his furniture to correspond to greater painted schemes on surrounding walls and ceilings. He displayed a number of such painted pieces at the International Exhibition of 1862 in the Medieval Court. Despite receiving mixed reviews for his use of colours, decorative subjects, and carpentry at this early date, Burges’ furniture proved very popular in succeeding decades. He continued to design in this bold fusion of Pre-Raphaelitism and the Gothic Revival the duration of his career.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil and watercolour on paper
Brief Description
William Burges. Various motifs, probably for painting on furniture. Floral, shell, insect, architectural, fish, star and sun motifs. English, ca. 1855 - 1881.
Physical Description
Pencil and yellow watercolour design on paper. An assortment of floral, shell, bee, architectural, sun, fish, and star motifs possibly for painting on a piece of furniture.
Dimensions
  • Width: 30.3cm
  • Length: 48.3cm
Style
Subjects depicted
Summary
William Burges began designing furniture early in his career, in the mid-1850s, and continued until his death in 1881. Generally heavy, sculptural, extensively carved, and with medieval decorations, his furniture stood out in the 19th century particularly for its unique application of painted decoration. Following a medieval fashion of design, Burges applied painted decoration to his furniture to correspond to greater painted schemes on surrounding walls and ceilings. He displayed a number of such painted pieces at the International Exhibition of 1862 in the Medieval Court. Despite receiving mixed reviews for his use of colours, decorative subjects, and carpentry at this early date, Burges’ furniture proved very popular in succeeding decades. He continued to design in this bold fusion of Pre-Raphaelitism and the Gothic Revival the duration of his career.
Collection
Accession Number
8829:63

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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