Décorations Polychromes

Monday, June 23, 2008

Décorations Polychromes

ceiling design from Scrofa-Calcagnini Palace in Ferrara

Ceiling design from the Palazzo Scrofa-Calcagnini in Rome*

(*Does anyone know another name for this? There are scant details online and what there is suggests it's in Ferrara.)

mosaic design from Bardo museum in Tunis

Mosaic detail from the Bardo Museum in Tunis (plate by Homolka)

fireplace ornament from Palazzo Ducale, Urbino

Detail of painted fireplace ornament from Palazzo Ducale in Urbino

Palazzo ducale lunette decorative design

Lunette decoration from Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, Lombardy

Correggio's 1518 vault painting at St Paul's convent in Parma

Correggio's 1518 vault fresco in St Paul's convent (Camera di San Paolo) in Parma

decorative ceiling motif from hotel de ville in Prague

Ceiling painting from the Hotel de Ville in Prague

(I presume this is from the new town hall building [Novoměstská Radnice] but I'm not sure. Anyone?)

lithograph reproduction of Giulio Romano's dome painting in Villa Madama in Rome

Giulio Romano's 16th century dome painting in Villa Madama in Rome

design of the vault cap in Fugger House, Augsburg

Design of the vault cap in Fugger House, Augsburg

The Fugger family were similar to the Medicis of Florence: rich and influential patrons with extensive property, so it's hard to identify the specific building containing the ceiling vault in the above lithograph.

panel design lithograph from Trausnitz castle, Landshut, Bavaria

16th century panel design from Trausnitz Castle, Landshut, Bavaria

frieze and column decoration from Great St Martin Church in Cologne

Frieze and column decoration details from Great St Martin Church in Cologne

lithograph of ceiling painting from Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Ceiling painting from Uffizi Gallery in Florence

door and decorative surrounds at Fontainebleau palace

Door and surround from the room where
Louis XIII was born at Fontainebleau Palace

[click images for larger versions; mouseover for original French captions; English captions are my approximatations]

In his 2-volume work, 'Décorations Polychromes', artist Ernst Ewald assembles what amounts to a grand tour through some of the most important elements from the decorative arts output of the Renaissance, found in buildings from Europe (and North Africa).

The one hundred and forty sumptuous illustrations are chromolithographs and the array of colours and tones present suggests that this was a complex and protracted printing process. The work was published somewhere between 1889 and 1896, perhaps aimed at a declining revivalist market (see: neo-Renaissance), or simply as an up-to-date record using the most realistic means of reproduction then available.

Same ballpark, different tangent: the rich 'Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome' site from the University of Oregon is well worth a timesink:
"Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour presents an innovative geo-database (geographic database) and website that references the work of two 18th century masters of Roman topography: Giambattissta Nolli (1701-1756), who published the first accurate map of Rome (La Pianta Grande di Roma, 1748); and his contemporary and Giuseppe Vasi (1710-1782), whose comprehensive documentation of the city and its monuments, especially in Delle Magnficenze di Roma antica a moderna, published from 1747-1761, establishes him as one of Rome’s great topographers."

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