Owen Jones (1809-74)
Plate from 'The Grammar of Ornament'
'Plate LIX - Chinese No.1'
Published by Day & Son
National Art Library Pressmark 106.J.22
Jones published The Grammar of Ornament as a rallying cry to all designers. He drew attention to the valuable lessons to be learnt from historical ornament.
The Grammar of Ornament was available in parts, which at the time made it an affordable option for young designers. It is still in print today – more than 150 years after its first publication – and continues to provide a rich source of inspiration for contemporary designers.
Grammar was a monumental publishing project that achieved standards of colour printing never seen before. It included 112 lusciously illustrated plates. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming vibrancy of the plates, Jones’s core educational message was often lost. He had always intended that the illustrations should support the text, not the other way around.