Jones Applied

Modern Pattern Books

Through their precise and very detailed depiction of Ibero-Islamic architecture, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey’s as well as Jules Goury and Owen Jones’ publications attracted world-wide attention. They became the most important transfer media apart from architectural studies and plaster casts. Contemporary architects, who had not travelled to Spain themselves, used the richly illustrated volumes of plates as reference catalogues comparable to medieval pattern books. This especially applies to Ludwig von Zanth’s ensemble of palaces in Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt – the Wilhelma (1842-1843) for Wilhelm I of Wurttemberg – and the Dampfmaschinenhaus (steam engine house) in Potsdam built neary at the same time (1841-1843). In both buildings, the juxtaposition of motives from the Great Mosque in Córdoba and the Alhambra, four-hundred years its junior, attest the stylistic pluralism of neo-Islamic architecture. – FG

Zanth 1855. Schulz 1976. Schloze 1996. Staschull 1999.

Florence’s Synagogue

In the 19th century, neo-Moorish style was considered as a perfect style for synagogues, as illustrated by the case of the Florentine temple. Although initially planned as a neo-Renaissance edifice, it was built between 1874 and 1882 by architects Mariano Falcini, Vincente Micheli and Marco Treves with a highly polychrome neo-Moorish painted interior (Fig. 1). The patterns reproduced on the walls and ceilings are direct magnified transposition of Jules Goury and Owen Jones’ chromolitho-graphic plates published in the second volume of Plans, Sections, Elevations and Details of the Alhambra, which was specially dedicated to pattern decoration (Figs. 2-3). These high quality plates became privileged transfer media for the diffusion of neo-Moorish style. – AVB

Künzl 1984. Scott 2000. Kalmar 2001. Kalmar 2013.

The Moorish Hall at Hotel Halm

Hotel Halm’s Moorish Hall in Constance (Fig. 4) built in the years of 1887-1888 under Stuttgart architect Emil Otto Tafel (1838-1914) bears witness of the importance of contemporary etchings and engravings for 19th-century building practice. Although Tafel must have been familiar with the Islamic architecture of al-Andalus as a student of Christian Friedrich von Lein, he never travelled to Spain himself. His primary source was the partially coloured volume of plates Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra by Jules Goury and Owen Jones. The precise rendition of Nasrid building and décor elements facilitated easy transfer to new buildings. The capitals and blind arch friezes follow their model in every minor detail (Figs 5-8), and stand apart from the simplistic neighbouring wall zones with their elaborated richness. – FG

Goury/Jones 1836-45. Tafel 1914.
Fig. 1. General view of the interior of the synagogue in Florence (© Bildarchiv Foto Marburg/ Rabatti & Domingie Photography).

Fig. 1. General view of the interior of the synagogue in Florence (© Bildarchiv Foto Marburg/ Rabatti & Domingie Photography).

Fig.2 (en)

Fig. 2. Painted sebka ornament on the wall of the synagogue (© Bildarchiv Foto Marburg/ Rabatti & Domingie Photography).

Fig.3 (en)

Fig. 3. Sebka ornament reproduced by Owen Jones (Goury/Jones 1836-42, vol. 2, Pl. 17).