New Book | A Rare Treatise on Interior Decoration and Architecture

Posted in books by Editor on October 8, 2019

From Getty Publications:

Simon Swynfen Jervis, ed., A Rare Treatise on Interior Decoration and Architecture: Joseph Friedrich zu Racknitz’s Presentation and History of the Taste of the Leading Nations, translated by Simon Swynfen Jervis (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2020), 368 pages, ISBN: 978-1606066249, $85.

Baron Joseph Friedrich zu Racknitz’s pioneering Presentation and History of the Taste of the Leading Nations in Relation to the Interior Decoration of Rooms and to Architecture (Darstellung und Geschichte des Geschmacks der vorzüglichsten Völker in Beziehung auf die innere Auszierung der Zimmer und auf die Baukunst), published between 1796 and 1799, is little known today. Racknitz, a German aristocrat, traced an early global history of design and ornament through discussions of what he distinguished as twenty-four essential regional historical tastes. He included those of a diverse group of ancient classical civilizations, European nations and peoples, Eastern civilizations, and more exotic reaches of the world.

This sensitive and informed translation also includes reproductions of the original color plates and essays on Racknitz’s biography, his publication, and the German Enlightenment context, making this an essential volume for studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, decorative arts, and garden design.

Simon Swynfen Jervis has worked extensively as a curator, writer, and scholar of decorative arts. He has authored dozens of books, articles, guidebooks, and exhibition catalogues and organized exhibitions at British, European, and American institutions.

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