General principles – The grammar of ornament

Owen Jones (1809-1874) wrote down 37 propositions in his book The grammar of ornament. He called them:


So here are some of these principles which I think are still relevant:

Proposition 2.

Architecture is the material expression of the wants, the faculties, and the sentiments, of the age in which it is created.

Style in Architecture is the peculiar form that expression akes under the influence of climate and materials at command.

Proposition 5.

Construction should be decorated. Decoration should never be purposely constructed.

That which is beautiful is true; that which is true must be beautiful.

Proposition 6.

Beauty of form is produced by lines growing out one from the other in gradual undulations: there are no excrescences; nothing could be removed and leave the design equally good or better.

Proposition 10.

Harmony of form consists in the proper balancing, and contrast of, the straight, the inclined, and the curved.

Proposition 11.

In surface decoration all lines should flow out of a parent stem. Every ornament, however distant, should be traced to its branch and root.

Proposition 14.

Colour is used to assist in the development of form, and to destinguish objects or parts of objects one form another.

Proposition 37.

No improvement can take place in the Art of the present generation until all classes, Artists, Manufacturers, and the Public, are better educated in Art, and the existence of general principles is more fully recognised.


Interesting blog
If you found this post interesting, check out 80/20 rule aka the Pareto principle!
What do you think of these propositions?
Do they define general rules for every type of Art? 




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