A significant focus of an artist’s education in the early academies was the study of ornament, with its basis of geometry and design. The ablilty to understand and create ornamental design was believed to strengthen the intellect and imagination behind figurative work (the study of nature). In turn, it was believed that to master drawing from the figure would, among other things, enhance form and subtlety in the modeling of ornament and confirm the ability to conceptualize geometric solids in space.
The history of Art has been a shifting of emphasis between the two concepts, design and nature.
The images below are taken from a recent class project using examples from the lecture series on the history of Ornament and introduce a project which will be the subject of a future post.