1850 Lewis GRUNER Masterpiece colour lithography 251/4 inch (!) MURAL POMPEII - Ornament
Specimens of Ornamental Art.
This plate: Ancient Roman Tesselated Pavement Lately Discovered at Brescia.
Sheet size: 19 1/2 x 25 1/4 in.
Sheet size: 49.5 x 64 cm
On wove paper.
Born in Dresden, Lewis (Ludwig) Gruner (1801-1882) became Prince Albert's trusted adviser on art and design, particularly concerning details on the noted Crystal Palace, and potential acquisitions for the newly formed South Kensington Museum, which was to become the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1852. In addition, Gruner was mentor to Owen Jones, whose massive book production, which included his popular treatise entitled 'The Grammar of Ornament', influenced the very nature of colour plate printing and Victorian book design. In his biography entitled 'Victorian Book Design & Colour Printing' (University California Press, 1972), Ruari McLean states, in Lewis Gruner's 'Specimens of Ornamental Art', many of the polychromatic plates are the finest yet seen in Britain, the craftsmanship to produce which must have rivalled that of the original artists, who include Giotto and Michelangelo. Dedicated to Prince Albert, the expressed purpose of the work was to provide examples of design and ornament for industry, and is clearly one of the most impressive achievements of mid-Victorian colour printing.
During the 19th century, "pattern books" became popular in Europe, which gave access to decorative elements recorded from cultures all over the world. Gruner's 'Specimens of Ornamental Art' contains illustrations of ornamental detail found on Italian architecture from the 12th-15th centuries. The volume is considered to be one of the finest examples of colour printing, or chromolithography, from the 19th Century.
Good overall condition. Some age foxing and age toning. Two minor clean tears into edges (no effecting image).