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Colour Decoration of Architecture

Colour Decoration of Architecture
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Author: Ward James
Title: Colour Decoration of Architecture
Release Date: 2019-02-07
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Contents.
Index

List of Illustrations
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COLOUR DECORATION OF
ARCHITECTURE

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[Image unavailable.]

Frontispiece.]

Plate I.Sketch Design for a Wall Decoration in Fresco.

Fame Rewarding the Arts and Sciences.

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COLOUR DECORATION OF
ARCHITECTURE

TREATING ON COLOUR AND DECORATION OF THE INTERIORS
AND EXTERIORS OF BUILDINGS. WITH
HISTORICAL NOTICES OF THE ART AND
PRACTICE OF COLOUR DECORATION
IN ITALY, FRANCE, GERMANY
AND ENGLAND. FOR THE
USE OF DECORATORS
AND STUDENTS

BY
JAMES WARD
AUTHOR OF “PRINCIPLES OF ORNAMENT,” “HISTORIC ORNAMENT,” “COLOUR HARMONY
AND CONTRAST,” “PROGRESSIVE DESIGN,” “FRESCO PAINTING,” ETC.


WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR AND
TWENTY-TWO IN HALF-TONE


NEW YORK
E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY
681 FIFTH AVENUE
1914
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Richard Clay & Sons, Limited,
BRUNSWICK STREET, STAMFORD STREET, S.E.,
AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.

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PREFACE

This book is written with the view that it may be of practical serviceto the decorator, student and craftsman, who may be engaged in thepractice and art of colour decoration, as applied to the interiors andexteriors of public buildings, churches, and private dwellings. I trustalso it will be of some value to all who take an interest in thedecoration of their own houses. The people of our own countries havebeen so unaccustomed to coloured buildings for the last three or fourhundred years that a strong prejudice against the use of colour inarchitecture has been developed and is maintained even at the presentday. Though we may all love colour, there are very few amongst us whohave the courage to advocate its use in the decoration of buildings. Wevisit Italy, France, Germany, and the East, and admire the many andbeautifully decorated churches, palaces, city halls and other public andprivate buildings, but the lessons we may have learned are lost to us,for we come back to our country to still hug our ancient prejudiceagainst the use of colour, and are contented with the greyness of life,and with the dreariness and drab of our great manufacturing cities.

It is fashionable just now for many of our educated classes to talklargely on art and decoration on public platforms, and to air theirartistic views in newspapers and magazines, but when it comes to a{vi}question of the practical application of their preaching and writing,they are found wanting, their courage seems to evaporate, as they thinkthey have done their duty in the advancement of art by simply talkingabout it. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in England there wasa school of living art, and five or six centuries previous there was onein Ireland. Is it too much to expect these golden ages of art to returnto us? We hope not, but before they do, art must become a common thoughtwith the people, which can hardly be said to be the case at present.

I have included in this work some brief historical reviews of colourdecoration in Italy, France, Germany and England, not so much onhistorical lines, but in order to offer to the decorator and studentsome account of the styles, methods and practice of the art underconsideration in the countries named, and in hopes that what I havewritten in respect to these matters may prove of practical value to thereaders of this book.

I desire to thank the Authorities of the Victoria and Albert Museum, TheDublin National Museum, the Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral, and Mr.William Davidson, L.R.I.B.A., Architect, Edinburgh, for their kindpermission to use the illustrations acknowledged to them in this work.

J. Ward.

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
 PAGE
Colour Decoration of Architecture—Introductory1
CHAPTER II
The Value of Colour as Applied to Architecture11
CHAPTER III
The Decorative Colouring of Interiors18
CHAPTER IV
The Colouring of Exteriors34
CHAPTER V
On the Use and Modification of Colour in Decoration44
CHAPTER VI
Italian Decoration and Ornament58
CHAPTER VII
Coloured Architecture in France74
CHAPTER VIII
Colour Decoration in Germany91
CHAPTER IX
Colour Decoration in England113
 
Index:A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T,U,V,W,Y.133

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PLATE Facing page
1.Sketch Design for a Wall Decoration in Fresco. By AuthorFrontispiece
2.Frescoes in the Chapel of St. Peter Martyr, Church of St. Eustorgio, Milan 9
3.Design in Colour for the Decoration of Park Green Church, Macclesfield. By Author10
4.St. Michael: From a Painting on the Rood Screen, Ranworth Church, Norfolk. English, Early Sixteenth Century. From Water-colour by W. Davidson14
5.Design in Colour for the Decoration of the Town Hall, Macclesfield. By Author18
6.Colour Arrangement for the Decoration of a Room20
7.Three Suggestions of Colour Tints for Painted Walls or Paperhangings, as Backgrounds for Framed Pictures23
8.Design in Colour for the Decoration of a Morning Room Ceiling at Queen’s Gate, London. By Author27
9.Decorated Mouldings: From the Rood Screen, Ranworth Church, Norfolk. English, Early Sixteenth Century. Drawn by W. Davidson28
10.Design in Colour for a Frieze Decoration. By Author30
11.Colour Arrangements for Doors and Woodwork33
12.Mosaic Panel: From the Cartoon of the Mosaic in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London: Melchizedek Blessing Abraham. By Sir W. B. Richmond, K.C.B., R.A.52
{x}13.Approximate Change in Certain Colours when seen in Artificial Light57
14.Model of Chapel of St. Catherine in the Church of St. Maurizo, Milan. Victoria and Albert Museum58
15.Mosaic Decoration: Church of St. John Lateran, Rome. By Jacopo Torriti. 1287-129260
16.Portion of the Ornament in Mosaic of the Window Reveals: Church of St. John Lateran, Rome61
17.Italian Gothic Decoration in the Church of St. Anastasia at Verona62
18.Decoration of a Portion of one of the Rooms in the Macchiavelli Palace, Florence. From a Model in the Victoria and Albert Museum63
19.Portion of a Coloured Ceiling Decoration by Giulio Romano, in the Palazzo Vecchio at Mantua. Sixteenth Century65
20.Arabesque Decorations in the Ducal Palace, Mantua. By Giulio Romano. Sixteenth Century68
21.Coloured Decoration of Portion of a Ceiling in the Vatican. By Raffaelle. Sixteenth Century71
22.Decoration of the Boudoir of Madame de Serilly, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. French, Eighteenth Century76
23.Another Portion of the above Boudoir Decoration77
24.Decoration in Colour of a Groined Ceiling in the Church of St. Jacques, Liége, 1522-1588100
25.Example of Diaper Ornament, largely used in Italian, German and English Decoration of the Sixteenth Century104
26.Example of Diaper Ornament, used in Decoration112
{xi}27.Example of Diaper Ornament, used in Decoration113
28.Saint George. From the Rood Screen, Ranworth Church, Norfolk. From a Water-colour by W. Davidson, Architect121
29.Decorated Mouldings, from the Rood Screen, Marsham Church, Norfolk. Drawn by W. Davidson122
30.Decorated Mouldings, from the Rood Screen, Cawston Church, Norfolk. Drawn by W. Davidson123
31.Portion of Ceiling Decoration, Choir of St. Albans Abbey125
32.Decoration on the Rood Screen, Ranworth Church, Norfolk. Drawn by W. Davidson126
33.Portion of Room Decoration formerly existing at Sheen House, Surrey. Eighteenth Century130
34.Portion of Staircase Decoration in the Victoria and Albert Museum. By F. W. Moody131

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COLOUR DECORATION OF
ARCHITECTURE

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTORY

“I cannot consider Architecture as in anywise perfect without Colour.”

Ruskin: Seven Lamps of Architecture.

THE History of Art testifies, in all its great periods, to the keendelight that artists, decorators, and architects have taken in the studyof colour, and its expression in certain harmonious proportions andarrangements for the decoration of buildings. Colour was obtained forthe adornment of a building by the use of marbles, metals, enamelledbricks and floor mosaics, which may be classed as permanent colouring,and structural in character, or it was applied, as in painting, wallmosaics, and stained glass. Architects were not content with leavingtheir buildings in grey and drab, for in such periods of the past, nobuilding was considered complete without its final application of colourdecoration.{2}

Nature, for the solace of mankind, has made most of her works beautiful,by dressing them in coloured garments. Birds, insects, stones, gems,trees, flowers and “weeds of glorious feature”; the countless phases ofthe earth, the sea, and the sky with its clouds, when rosy-fingered atthe dawn, when sunlit in noon-day beauty, or when fringed with the goldand crimsoned fires of the dying day, afford the clearest evidence thatnature delights in rich and bright, as well as in quiet schemes ofcolour harmony. Therefore, if true art is built on the solid ground ofnature, colour cannot well be divorced from it, for although certainuncoloured artistic creations are legitimate enough, they come under thehead of illustrations, or are portions of coloured schemes ofdecoration, for colourless art, like colourless nature, is almost acontradiction in terms.

Even a whitewashed wall, when left some time to the weather, will beeventually changed into a variegated surface having delicate tints orsuggestions of almost every colour. We might also illustrate nature’sdislike to monotonous uniformity of tone if we select any other colour,however brilliant or intense, instead of white. The doors and windows ofa house may be painted, for example, in a uniform colour of the rankestand crudest green imaginable, but if left long enough to the effects ofthe weather, this harsh colour will be transformed to a beautiful andvariegated harmony of numerous and closely{3} related tones, varyingperhaps from greys to emerald greens and peacock blues, or in otherwords the rank and uniform harshness of the original colour will beeventually oxidised and bleached into a colour harmony of variegatedbeauty.

From our knowledge of the changes in colour made by sunshine and stormon outside painting and on whitewash, it might be suggested that acountry cottage with white walls should have the doors and otherwoodwork, such as window shutters and frames, painted

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