Ever wondered why your ceiling is shaped like the arches in a Gothic cathedral? Or why your office building looks so different from its neighbouring counterparts? ABC of Styles invites you to explore the many different architectural and decorative interior styles from their ancient origins to the 1940s. Take a journey through history to see how the French aristocracy styled their palaces and castles to the simple designs of the Dominican monastic churches during the Middle Ages. Often, political changes implicate a stylistic transformation. Thus, the different European styles were frequently named after a sovereign or a historical period (Renaissance style, Medieval style). Until the end of the 19th century, the stylistic mutations of the time were generally based on the tastes of royalty. Stylistic expression was, therefore, an affirmation of power.
From the Middle Ages to contemporary times, decorative art can be defined by the artistic materials, designs, and objects used in both architecture and interior design. Similar to many art forms, decorative art continues to evolve, originating with pieces as simple as a chair, noted for its utility, to purely ornamental objects, celebrated for their aesthetic beauty.
This book aims to eulogise these often undervalued objects by giving praise to all mediums of decorative art throughout the centuries. Originally never considered as fine art, their artistic potential was not acknowledged until the 20th century when industrial production replaced artisanal creation. The age, authenticity, and, above all, the uniqueness of these precious objects have now become the new standards of quality and beauty found in decorative art. Join us in discovering the evolution of decorative art through this enticing survey of major masterpieces throughout time.
Émile Bayard served as Inspector for the French Ministry of Fine Arts. He wrote many books about the various styles throughout the history of art.
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