Designer: Owen Jones (British, London 1809–1874 London)
Manufacturer: Warner, Sillett & Ramm
Date: ca. 1873
Culture: British, Essex
Dimensions: L. 17 3/4 x W. 18 1/2 inches (45.1 x 47 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2000
Accession Number: 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.