Architecture & Interior Design Books

Praz, Mario: An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration - from Pompeii to Art Nouveau (2255)

Thames & Hudson 1st 1964
v min wr to bds, v min wr to d/w o/w VG+/VG+ over 2kgs
(Order reference 2255).

With a masterly blend of erudition, insight and wit Mario Praz, noted scholar, art critic and author, has written a lively and informative history of interior decoration from Roman times onwards. Not only is this a book of reference and up-to-date knowledge on the styles of furnishing and decorating, it is also a sophisticated work about the oddities and domestic environment of the human race, an historical-sociological study of man in relation to his furnishings. The author believes that a man's home is a physical extension of himself, a retreat and an indication of his personality and life.

Unlike other publications on furniture and decoration this scholarly work allows us to penetrate intimately the homes of the past. Its authority is based not only on the vast knowledge of the author, but also upon the particular kind of material chosen for illustration. Praz has not used period rooms photographed as they exist today, altered and emptied of the life which once filled them, but he has illustrated his book with 401 paintings, drawings and prints, by artists from Pompeii to Art Nouveau who have faithfully recorded the studies and salons, boudoirs and banqueting halls, kitchens and baths of their contemporaries.

Some of these illustrations of interiors are famous works of art, such as the paintings of Vermeer and Hogarth, or the engravings of Durer. Many, however, are lesser known, charming and precise watercolours or oil paintings of interiors, which families commissioned from artists in order to record: their homes and the life within these homes. No other book has ever recreated so clearly and warmly the homes of earlier epochs with such a wealth of authentic material, and no other book will prove such a valuable reference work for all who are interested in period styles of furnishing and the art of decoration generally.