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Specimens of Ornamental Art Selected from the Best Models of the Classical Epochs Plate #59. Portion of a Painted Ceiling by Berno. Luini in the Church of the Monastero Maggiore at Milan. XVI Century. (Cherub Detail)
London: Thomas M'Lean, 1850. First printing slight foxing to edges of paper- not effecting the richness of the image. A Near Fine Original Chromolithograph. Folio. 25.5 x 20 inches, 647.7 x 508 mm. & This fine and rare plate was printed in multiple colors, requiring up 20 separate stones, and finished by hand. The work was most likely executed by Wickelmann & Sons of Berlin, for which they received the Metal Prize at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Considered the very height of Victorian color printing, the work was designed by Lewis (Ludwig) Gruner, (1801-1882). Born in Dresden, Gruner became Prince Albert's trusted adviser on art and design, particularly concerning details on the noted Crystal Palace, and potential acquisitions for the newly formed the South Kensington Museum, which was to become the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1852. In addition, Gruner was mentor to Owen Jones, whose massive book production, which included his popular treatise entitled The Grammar of Ornament, influenced the very nature of color plate printing and Victorian book design. In his invaluable bibliography entitled Victorian Book Design & Colour Printing, (University of California Press, 1972), Ruari McLean states, In Lewis Gruner's Specimens of Ornamental Art, many of the polychromatic plates are the finest yet seen in Britain, the craftsmanship to produce which must have rivaled that of the original artists, who include Giotto and Michelangelo, (and Raphael). Dedicated to Prince Albert, the expressed purpose of the work was to provide examples of design and ornament for industry, and is clearly one of the most impressive achievements of mid-Victorian color printing. (Faber Birren Book Collection 207, McLean 120.)
      [Bookseller: Lowry-James Rare Prints & Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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