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Jones, Owen, 1809-1874. / Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington Museum and other collections.

Chinese ornament,   pp. 5-8

Page 5

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
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
Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently
The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct,
follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases.
Moorish artist takes a rudely-fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous
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                       *                        *                      
Ornament from a Moorish Jar.
B                                                  5

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