The Grammar of Ornament online

The Grammar of Ornament online

After yesterday’s post  about articles in the V&A journal  I went poking around the net a little further and discovered The Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture houses an online copy of Owen Jones classic The Grammar of Ornament This book is beautifully illustrated and influences textile design to this day. 

For instance have a look at the this page plate illustrating Persian pattern.

Go check it out this wonderful resource as it is beautiful and you can read/view it free.


  1. Sharon, thank you for the links, I am amazed I did not find these in all the years I have searched the wisconsin site. I spend hours looking at all these collections, often seeing simular design elements is different areas, the Mores/Alhambora and the Celtic collection seem to mirror elements, I love the early Assyrian plates. Rene

  2. Two other good design books I’ve found online:

    In the NYPL Digital Gallery:
    L’ornement polychrome…motifs de tous les styles, art ancien et asiatique, Moyen Age, Renaissance, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles… (Handbook of Ornaments in Color) by A. Racinet.


    At HEARTH (Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History) at Cornell University:

    Handbook of ornament: a grammar of art, industrial and architectural designing in all its branches, for practical as well as theoretical use. by Franz Sales Meyer


    The Meyer book is more theoretical than Owen Jones and Racinet, which show lots of images and examples.

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