Industrial revolution brought huge changes, artists responded to that (samuel palmer recreates a vision of England before the industrial age)

London’s population doubles in 100 years 1801 to 1911 People were forced to move to the cities, poverty grew

posters Advertising culture takes hold of the city. Competition in the city forced businesses to advertise. When there is no competition, you don’t need to advertise. Posters beome a part of urban landscape. (painting on the sides of buildings, clapham)

Invention of lithography allows for the mass reproduction of artwork for the first time in history.

Arts and Craft Movement

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Movement to revive italian art before Raphael, saw everything about the past as superior

Factories come under criticism for the way they change society (engels, marx) goods produced by factories percieved to be ugly, “devoid of beauty”

More on William Morris

gothic architecture well-designed goods would improve society material environment affects moral fibre of society ideal is happy workers making beautiful objects past was better

william morris wallpaper

the red house

oscar wilde compares art to flower, art is useless

Walter Crane

middle age

christopher dresser industrial design

Owen Jones: The Grammar of Ornament

  • Owen Jones
  • Spent years travelling Europe and the middle east studying art and craftsmanship
  • First director of the South Kensington Museum (Later to become the V&A)

the decorative arts arise from architecture established good taste


objective standard of beauty

arabesque, curved, nature-related forms

abstraction, scientific deconstruction of botanic drawings

‘savage tribes’ (reading)

The principles discoverable in the works of the past belong to us; not so the results. It is taking the end for the means. (Proposition 36)

All propositions

The Art Nouveau

art 1880s to ww1 aubrey beardsley organic forms, stylized depictions of nature paris metro gustav klimt looks back at greek, byzantine, egyptian styles flaneur invention of hot air balloons, exposition universelle de paris

Adolf Loos: Ornament and Crime, 1908

Argues that ornamentation slows down progress