DECORATIVE ART OF VICTORIA'S ERA by Frances Lichten

DECORATIVE ART OF VICTORIA'S ERA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There's a horrid fascination in this album of Victorian what nots (to misuse the term deliberately!), and yet here and there, one has a sense of sentimental childhood recall (if you were born in the 19th century)- and frequently, one recognizes an original source of some fad of today. The material falls into fourteen sections, with introductory commentary on the passing scene, historically, industrially, socially, artistically interpreted. The whole makes caustic commentary or perceptive survey of the Victorian era, with a bow to the earnest effort to express themselves, and a firm determination to give due recognition to the influences- good and bad- that set the pace. From the needlework and paintings on velvet of Victoria's naive childhood, to the landscape painting, the cast iron sculpture of the gardens, the hunting lodge furniture, the tartans of Albert's taste, and the excesses of the Gothic and romantic, the classic and Egyptian in the decorative notes of architecture and interior decorating, one turns- appalled and intrigued- to the photographs of the best of the period of our grandparents and great grand-parents. Furniture, fashions, fabrics, embellishments of the ottoman and lambrequin period, and the grand finale as Eastman took over and the Turkish cosy corner found its way into even ""simple"" homes -- text and pictures set horrible examples of an era not too far gone.

Publisher: Scribner