Victorian decorative arts
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of
decorative arts during 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. The Arts and Crafts
movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau
style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.
Interior decoration and design
Interior decoration and interior design of 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 sideboard was 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 marbled or 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 tripartite wall that included a dado or
wainscoting at the bottom, a field in the middle and a frieze or cornice
at 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 furniture in 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.
Wallpaper was often made in elaborate floral patterns with primary
colors in the backgrounds, such as red, blue and yellow and overprinted
with colours of cream and tan. This was followed by Gothic art inspired
papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. William
Morris was one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and
fabrics during the latter half of the Victorian period. Morris was
inspired and used Medieval and Gothic tapestries in his work. Embossed
paper were used on ceilings and friezes.