8000 Years of Ornament: An Illustrated Handbook of Motifs

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British Museum Press, 2001 - Decoration and ornament - 208 pages
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This innovative handbook illustrates and records the origins and development of nine major motifs or groups of motifs in decorative art: spiral scrolls and key patterns, animals and mythological, creatures the lotus, papyrus and lily, the palmette, leaf borders, the Indian lotus, the Celtic scroll, the rosette, twists, plaits and interlace. Eva Wilson demonstrates that a limited number of decorative ideas have recurred in many cultures and periods across the world, from prehistory to the present day, repeatedly reinvented in different forms. With the accumulated experience and accuracy of the archaeological illustrator, she approaches the question why some patterns and motifs become universally popular, and attempts some answers. Her superb drawings make this book an invaluable source of reference and inspiration for designers, artists and historians.

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