- Victorian decorative arts
Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of
decorative artsduring the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. In the late Victorian period the Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings.
Interior decoration and design
Interior decorationand interior designof the Victorian era are noted for orderliness and ornamentation. A house from this period was idealistically neatly divided in rooms, with public and private space carefully separated. The Parlor was the most important room in a home and was the showcase for the homeowners; where guests were entertained. A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner's interests and aspirations. The dining room was the second-most important room in the house. The sideboardwas most often the focal point of the dining room and very ornately decorated.
Walls and ceilings
The choice of paint color on the walls in Victorian homes was said to be based on the use of the room. Hallways that were in the entry hall and the stair halls were painted a somber gray so as not to compete with the surrounding rooms. Most people marbleized the walls or the woodwork. Also on walls it was common to score into wet plaster to make it resemble blocks of stone. Finishes that were either
marbleizedor grained were frequently found on doors and woodwork. "Graining" was meant to imitate woods of higher quality that were more difficult to work. There were specific rules for interior color choice and placement. The theory of “harmony by analogy” was to use the colors that lay next to each other on the color wheel. And the second was the “harmony by contrast” that was to use the colors that were opposite of one another on the color wheel. There was a favored tripartitewall that included a dadoor wainscotingat the bottom, a field in the middle and a friezeor corniceat the top. This was popular until the 19th century. Fredrick Walton who created linoleum in 1863 created the process for embossing semi-liquid linseed oil, backed with waterproofed paper or canvas. It was applied much like wallpaper. This process made it easy to then go over the oil and make it resemble wood, leather or different types of leather. On the ceilings that were 8-14 feet the color was tinted three shades lighter than the color that was on the walls and usually had a high quality of ornamentation because decorated ceilings were favored.
There was not one dominant style of
furniturein the Victorian period. Designers rather used and modified many styles taken from various time periods in history like Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, English Rococo, Neoclassical and others. The Gothic and Rococo revival style were the most common styles to be seen in furniture during this time in history.
Wallpaperwas often made in elaborate floralpatterns with primary colorsin the backgrounds, such as red, blue and yellow and overprinted with colours of cream and tan. This was followed by Gothic artinspired papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. William Morriswas one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and fabricsduring the latter half of the Victorian period. Morris was inspired and used Medievaland Gothic tapestriesin his work. Embossed paper were used on ceilings and friezes.
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/launch_vt_victorian_room.shtml Victorian Room Virtual Tour]
* [http://www.victorianweb.org/art/design/designov.html Victorian Design (victorianweb.org)] including ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, metalwork, and textiles.
* [http://www.furniturestyles.net/european/english/early-victorian.html Early Victorian Furniture History in England]
* [http://www.furniturestyles.net/european/english/late-victorian.html Late Victorian Era Furniture History in England]
* [http://www.antiquestopic.com/victorian-style-1837-1901/ Victorian style, 1837-1901]
* [http://www.miragebookmark.ch/The-Daily-Chronicle.htm Victorian Bookmarks]
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