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Lewis Gruner - 1850 Chromolithograph, Casa Taverna, Milan

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Lewis Gruner - Original 1850 Chromolithograph. Elevation of Portion of the Court Yard of Casa Taverna at Milan. Painted by Bern: Luini.' Plate no. 75 of ' Specimens of Ornamental Art, selected from the best models of the classical epochs' by Lewis Gruner (1801-1882) with descriptive text by Emil Braun. With blindstamp of the Leicester Free Library. To view all pages from 'Specimens of Ornamental Art' available in our collection, click here. Unsigned. On wove. Condition is typical for a picture of this age including some discolouration.

Born in Desden, Lewis (Ludwig) Gruner (1801-1882) became Prince Albert's trusted advisor on art and design, particularly concerning details on the noted Crystal Palace, and potential acquisitions for the newly formed 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 colour plate printing and Victorian book design. In his biography entitled 'Victorian Book Design & Colour Printing' (University 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 rivalled that of the original artists, who include Giotto and Michelangelo. 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 colour printing.


62.4 x 48.8cm (24.6" x 19.2")

Collection Information

During the 19th century, "pattern books" became popular in Europe, which gave access to decorative elements recorded from cultures all over the world. Gruner's 'Specimens of Ornamental Art' contains illustrations of ornamental detail found on Italian architecture from the 12th-15th centuries. The volume is considered to be one of the finest examples of colour printing, or chromolithography, from the 19th century.

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More Information
Code nl961
Artist Lewis Gruner
Date 1850
Dimensions 62.4 x 48.8cm
Framed No
Medium Lithograph
Style Realism
Subject Miscellaneous
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