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Alhambra: Plans, Elevations, Sections & Drawings

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This edition includes the 1842 publication of Owen Joness plates and text of the Alhambra. There are numerous new drawings and figures, explaining the proportional construction of the Alhambra buildings, and the geometric, floral and epigraphic decoration on their walls The first volume contains 22 chapters with 36 Owen Jones plates and over 200 new figures giving chronological ground plans, elevations and analyses of the architecture, decoration and epigraphy. It provides a general introduction to Nasrid art and architecture, explains the Nasrid proportional system of design, and discusses the early Nasrid palaces and the great city gates. The lithographs, printed in colours, are highly important in their own right as early experimental examples of the chromolithographic process that was to come to dominate colour reproduction for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. These, allied with the excellent text, add an additional and valuable dimension to this work as an important historical record of this Moorish jewel early in the 19th century, at least twenty years before the first detailed photographic records were made. Owen Jones was the son of a prosperous Welsh furrier. In 1833, Jones, who had been articled to Lewis Vuillamy from 1825-1831, made a tour of the Middle East (including Constantinople and Cairo) painting watercolour landscapes: this sparked his fascination with Islamic buildings. In the following year he made a tour of Spain accompanied by the young French architect Jules Goury, visiting Granada, and the Alhambra in particular. Both were fascinated by the Moorish Palace and they planned to study it in detail. At that time, it was possible for suitable visitors to rent a suite of rooms within the palace itself: Washington Irving had been inspired to write his Tales of the Alhambra whilst staying there in 1829 and following in his footsteps, Jones and Goury stayed at the palace whilst making detailed drawings of the architectural and coloured decorations of the building. Tragically, Goury contracted cholera during his stay, and died on the 28th August, 1834. Owen Jones returned to England with both his and Gourys sketches. He also brought back an enormous number of casts that he and Goury made of the ornaments and mouldings. A note at the beginning of the present work explains that: To insure perfect accuracy, an impression of every ornament throughout the palace was taken, either with plaster or with unsized paper. Jones returned to the Alhambra again in 1837 to complete the recording and measuring of a number of aspects of the palace that had remained unfinished at the time of Gourys sudden death. On his return with his drawings . Jones apparently had difficulty in finding any printer to undertake the unfamiliar and difficult work of color printing [especially the need of the flat, opaque and accurate colour schemes to reproduce the decorative motifs] . With the promise of some help from Day & Haghe, Jones therefore set up an establishment . [in London] . training his own workmen and providing his own presses (Abbey). Joness approach to colour-printing. He finally resolved to set up his own printing press; the colour plates demanded up to seven pressings and nearly nine years of experimentation passed before the work was successfully accomplished. In his employment of flat colours Owen Jones anticipated the works of William Morris, the Pre-Raphaelite school of Art, and the Art Nouveau movement in France. This book is a wonderful record of Hispano-Muslim Architecture, a very important book of great creativity. This book is like new; no remainder marks. No dustjacket. Inside pages are clean and bright.

Additional information

Weight 2800 g