Jones, Owen, 1809-1874. / Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington Museum and other collections.
Chinese ornament, pp. 5-8
CHINESE ORNAMENT. WE have long been familiar with the power of the Chinese to balance colours, but we were not so well acquainted with their power of treating purely ornamental or conven- tional forms; and in the chapter in the Grammar of Ornament on Chinese Ornament I was led, from my then knowledge, to express the opinion that the Chinese had not the power of dealing with conventional ornamental form: but it now appears that there has been a period in which a School of Art existed in China of a very important kind. We are led to think that this art must in some way have had a foreign origin; it so nearly resembles in all its principles the art of the Mohammedan races, that we may presume it was derived from them. It would be no difficult task to take a work of ornament of this class, and, by simply varying the colouring and correcting the drawing, convert it into an Indian or Persian composition. There is of course, in all these works, something essentially Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently Mohammedan. The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct, and follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases. The Moorish artist takes a rudely-fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous instinct divides the surface of the object, by spots of colour, into triangles of proportionate area, according to the form and size of the object; these triangles are then crossed by others, r * * I Ornament from a Moorish Jar. B 5
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