An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration

An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration

From Pompeii to Art Nouveau

  1. Mario Praz
  2. Translated by William Weaver
  • ISBN 9780500233580
  • 30.30 x 23.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 396pp
  • 400 Illustrations, 64 in colour
  • First published 1982
‘Has lost none of its charm … In a delightful combination of knowledgeable opinion, gossipy scene-setting and detailed description …’ – House & Garden
‘Magnificent … scholarly yet accessible … a seductive page-turner’ – The Financial Times
‘Gorgeous is the only word for this book. Sweetly written, richly coloured, stuffed to bursting and lavishly packed’ – Sir Hugh Casson, The Observer

The appeal of this extraordinary book lies in its obsession with the details of the domestic interior, borne out in a wonderfully rich collection of pictures.

These charming paintings and water-colours, mostly dating from 1770 to 1860 and coming from all over Europe, Russia and America, record with faithful accuracy the shape of a room, the pattern of a carpet, the furniture, pictures, fabrics and wall coverings, the hang of the curtains.

The pictures find their place in a complete survey of domestic – and some more palatial – interiors portrayed in art from the ancient world to the late 19th century, and including works by Vermeer, Hogarth, Dürer, Degas and Vuillard.

The text goes beyond scholarly commentary to present an evolving picture of men and women in relation to domestic surroundings, full of human interest, wit and wide-ranging cultural references.

Mario Praz was Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Rome for many years. He was awarded the British Academy Gold Medal for Anglo-Italian Studies in 1935, the Italian Gold Medal in 1958 and the Grand’Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana in 1972. The most celebrated of his many other books is The Romantic Agony.