Designed by Owen Jones (British, 18091874); Manufactured by Warner and Sons
Woven silk; 17 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (45.1 x 47 cm)
Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 1999 (2000.46)
"Italian" is one of the rare textiles by Owen Jones. Fewer than thirty of his textile designs are known to exist, and they all date to the early 1870s. This silk textile typifies Jones' predilection for formal, repeating patterns, in contrast to the naturalistic, three-dimensional floral designs found on many Victorian furnishing fabrics. Jones, who was trained as an architect, is probably best known as the author of The Grammar of Ornament, first published in 1856. The book provided thirty-seven principles of design and an ambitious survey of decorative motifs from cultures around the world. It was intended to serve as inspiration and guide for designers in all facets of the decorative arts, and was influential throughout the second half of the nineteenth century.