Image from page 254 of "On colour, and on the necessity for a general diffusion of taste among all classes : with remarks on laying out dressed geometrical gardens, examples of good and bad taste, illustrated by woodcuts and coloured plates in contrast" (
Title: On colour, and on the necessity for a general diffusion of taste among all classes : with remarks on laying out dressed geometrical gardens, examples of good and bad taste, illustrated by woodcuts and coloured plates in contrast
Authors: Wilkinson, John Gardner, 1797-1875
Publisher: London : J. Murray
Contributing Library: Getty Research Institute
Digitizing Sponsor: Getty Research Institute
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lish climate. A door made entirely ofstone, or of wood inlaid with stone, is inadmissible. Largemalachite doors may suit Kussian caprice, and may imposeon some easily captivated by display, but they are not con-sistent with good taste, and they convey an unpleasant ideaof having to move a heavy mass whenever you wish to go inor out of the room, with the fear of some accident if care-lessly opened or shut; or you may perhaps know that it onlyafter all has a veneered surface, and that it is a specious imposi-tion. Those who delight in the employment of showy or costlymaterials, in places ill-suited to them, mis-take the splendid for the beautiful, and bar-baric richness for elegance and taste. [The same may be said of the rich cabinetsinlaid with brilliant stones and costly jewels,where the artist seems to have sought tomake splendid what he failed to make beauti-ful; and where the tortured outlines, thetwists, scroll-formed mouldings, and dis-torted frame-work, which usually constitute
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220 ON TASTE IN ORNAMENTAL DESIGN. Part II. K =» a conspicuous part of them, proclaim the absence of all feelingfor elegance and purity of design; and if a higher style of(Q \ work is attempted,, by the substitution of humanfigures for the legs, it falls as far short of natureand of art as the sculptures of the South Seaislanders. Such pieces of furniture excited thegeneral admiration of their time; though aclumsy superstructure, on slender deformed legs,might call to mind the union of a corpulent bodyand emaciated limbs.] Nor is the comparison toworks of the South Sea islanders a very exaggeratedone; and some are so far removed from the beau-tiful and from the true principles of design, that itis now and then difficult to decide on the score ofugliness between a mediaeval and a Maori-devilwood carving; and what is worse, they sometimesaffect to pass off as works of taste. 30. [Again, a statue or temple, made of glass, isinconsistent and objectionable; and even a vase,originally exec
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