Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case DW, Shelf 101

Wallpaper

ca. 1852-1874 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Owen Jones (1809-1874) was a prolific designer of wallpapers. His designs drew heavily on his anthology of historic decorative motifs, published as The Grammar of Ornament (1856). However, unlike Pugin, Jones did not believe that one could simply reproduce past styles in a modern context. He believed that architecture and design should be of its time, but that it should look to the ornamental art of the past for inspiration. Though the forms he used were often naturalistic, he reduced them to flat forms in patterns based on his notion of ‘geometrical construction’. In his essay of 1852, ‘Colour in the Decorative Arts’ (published in George Shaw’s On the Manufacture of Glass), he wrote that ‘paper hangings should not call attention to themselves, but remain as a background for the paintings, engravings, and other art works’. Yet his wallpapers are characterised by strong colours in uncommon combinations, devised in accordance with his own colour theories.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour print on paper
Brief Description
Specimen of wallpaper with a design of formalised foliage creating a diaper-work effect, in red and black; Colour print on paper; Design by Owen Jones; Probably produced by Townsend, Parker & Co.; Within a pattern book (8337.1-184); Great Britain; ca. 1852-1874.
Physical Description
Specimen of wallpaper with a design of formalised foliage creating a diaper-work effect, in red and black; Colour print on paper; Within a pattern book (8337.1-184).
Dimensions
  • Height: 38.8cm
  • Width: 52cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Miss Catherine Jones, daughter of the artist
Object history
Given by Miss Catherine Jones, daughter of the artist.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Owen Jones (1809-1874) was a prolific designer of wallpapers. His designs drew heavily on his anthology of historic decorative motifs, published as The Grammar of Ornament (1856). However, unlike Pugin, Jones did not believe that one could simply reproduce past styles in a modern context. He believed that architecture and design should be of its time, but that it should look to the ornamental art of the past for inspiration. Though the forms he used were often naturalistic, he reduced them to flat forms in patterns based on his notion of ‘geometrical construction’. In his essay of 1852, ‘Colour in the Decorative Arts’ (published in George Shaw’s On the Manufacture of Glass), he wrote that ‘paper hangings should not call attention to themselves, but remain as a background for the paintings, engravings, and other art works’. Yet his wallpapers are characterised by strong colours in uncommon combinations, devised in accordance with his own colour theories.
Bibliographic References
  • Oman, Charles C. and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
  • Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 108-109. pl 91.
Collection
Accession Number
8337:138

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record createdMarch 14, 2003
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