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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 5 (February 1904)

Verneuil, M. P.
The adaptation of ornament to space,   pp. 470-484 PDF (5.3 MB)


Page 470


THE CRAFTSMAN
THE ADAPTATION OF ORNAMENT
TO SPACE. BY M. P. VERNEUIL.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
BY IRENE SARGENT
IMITATION of space and
nature of material: these
are the two principal fac-
tors of the many interest-
ing problems which offer
themselves to the designer
of ornament. And if it is
instructive to  formulate
and to study these prob-
lems, is it not still more use-
ful to cause them to be
solved by eminent decora-
tive artists? From   such
explanations all our readers
will derive pleasure, while
               certain among  them  will
gain from the same source a fund of valua-
ble knowledge.
  In composing, the designer must strictly
observe the two great laws which govern
decorative art. These laws are simple, but
absolute, and can be briefly stated.
  First: the designer must adapt the orna-
mental forms which he employs to the spaces
which he wishes to decorate.
  Second: he must adapt the same ornamen-
470
tal forms to the qualities of the medium in
which he works.
  In the strict observation of these two laws
resides, at least, in great measure, that which
we name interpretation: that is, the resolvent
power which, selecting a natural element,
reduces it to the state of an element of deco-
ration.
  But what is meant when the designer is
told to adapt an ornamental form to the
space to be decorated?
  There exist several methods by which to
decorate a given space. At the very least,
there are two usual modes of procedure. To
Designs by M. Verneuil
4.


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