Sketchbook Roundup 2019 - Weeks 8 & 9

Sketchblog Sketchbook Roundup 2019

”Real life” came on like a freight train these past couple weeks, and I did not meet my goal of completing 100 design remixes from “The Grammar of Ornament” in February. I got close, but no cigar. March’s work cut out for me, I guess! What follows is ornaments 51-70.
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Moresque Ornament from the Alhambra
Wherein Owen Jones dedicates more airtime to one building than he did to the entire Greek culture. “We find in the Alhambra the speaking art of the Egyptians, the natural grace and refinement of the Greeks, the geometrical combinations of the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Arabs,” he said. Obviously, he loved it.
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This first design comes from the Court of Lions, which is named for a spectacular on-site fountain adorned with 12 majestic lions. 
Interestingly, this section of the Alhambra was some kind of rundown dump in Jones’ day. In Napoleonic time, it had been used as a jail for French prisoners of war. Don Ignacio Montilla used it as a barn for his sheep and donkeys. Later, another family used it as a textile factory. Early tourists chipped off ornaments as their take-home souvenirs, and some unnamed governor’s daughters sold some of its tiles to finance a bullfight. 
Finally, in the late 1800’s, a full-scale restoration project was launched, and I guess these days, it’s an immaculate gem.
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Paneling on the walls at Tower of the Captive.
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Part of the Ceiling of the Portico of the Court of the Fishpond. (?)
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Dado, Hall of the Two Sisters.
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Dado in center window, Hall of the Ambassadors.
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Persia
Inferior, according to Jones, because it wasn’t a “pure” aesthetic. After all, the Persians were allowed to depict animal life! He mentions that they had a good grasp on contrast, but that’s about their most applaudable achievement, evidently.
Turns out that the Persian method of firing and glazing tile into a brilliant, metallic sheen became an integral component of the Arts and Crafts movement. William de Morgan designed tiles for William Morris using this technique, so maybe Jones was myopic in his assessment of their artistic contributions after all. 
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Ornaments from Persian MSS in the British Museum.
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From a Persian’s patternbook.
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Indian Ornament. (As in India. The country.)
These designs are taken from hookahs! Oddly, hookahs didn’t become incredibly popular in the West, although Lewis Carroll’s caterpillar smoked one. 
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Designs from embroidered and/or woven fabric.
Although the British had long, ahem... involved themselves in India, it took a few artists like William Hodges and Thomas Daniel to draw the (ahem x2)... colonists’ attention to the beautiful designwork of the Indian people. This design comes from some painted lacquer pieces from the Collection at the India House.
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Hindoo Ornament
Fun fact: In the nineteenth century, the word “Hindoo” referred to to any “Oriental” style of art of architecture, including Indian, Chinese, and/or Buddhist. A lot of Owen Jones’ design depictions were actually Buddhist. Uber confusing, I know.
Ornaments from the Copies the Paintings on the walls of the Caves at Ajunta, which was a series of Buddhist rock sanctuaries.
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From Burmese shrine.
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Ornaments from the Copies the Paintings on the walls of the Caves at Ajunta.
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Owen just says ‘Hindoo” and “Burmese” on these. Um...?
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Well until next time, friends! We march into March still traveling through here with Owen Jones’ parade. I hope you’re hanging in there. I’ll try to finish this leg up soon. Thank you for reading.

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