Treasure's description

Egyptian-style ornamental lotus and papyrus

Egyptian-style ornamental lotus and papyrus

This image comes from Owen Jones' 'The grammar of ornament: illustrated by examples from various styles of ornament' [1856] shows Egyptian-style plant motifs. Jones, 1809-1874, was an architect, printer, and designer who became one of the most well-known designers of mid-nineteenth century Britain. He worked on the design of the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition, from 1851, with people such as Joseph Paxton, Digby Wyatt, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Jones comments in the preface to the folio edition of his work that he lays down 37 propositions on the arrangement of form and colour in architecture and the decorative arts. These include Proposition Four which states that 'True beauty results from that repose which the mind feels when the eye, the intellect, and the affections, are satisfied from the absence of any want'. Jones comments specifically on this plate that 'the arrangement is symmetrical and graceful'. He argues that Egyptian ornamental design was inspired by nature.