geometric foliate patterns in green and blue
Tiles of Old Revisited
Decorative tiles from many parts of the Middle East and Asia became very desirable collectibles starting in the 1870s when the enthusiasm for Islamic design pervaded much of the aesthetic movement decorative arts. While the Western purchaser of this tile from the Ottoman Empire is unknown, Lockwood de Forest and Frederic Church were among the...
Horizontal rectangle. A part of the hill with two groups of trees and a seated Arab is shown in the left and central foreground. In the right foreground and in the middle distance view across the Valley of Jesophat.
Jerusalem: Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest Paint the Sacred City
The landscape painter Frederic Church built his reputation on grand exhibition paintings of awesome views that for many mid-century Americans expressed a divine presence in the world. In search of majestic scenery, he traveled to South America (1853 and 1857), Jamaica (1865), and in 1868 to 1869, he, with his wife Isabel, their young son,...
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Persian Passion by the Yard
This paper focuses on the exotic pomegranate plant, which is native to Persia (present-day Iran). Persian was introduced in 1895 and is woodblock printed in six colors. It was a common design motif to show the life cycle of plants in floral wallpapers. The densely woven pattern containing the pomegranate fruit, stylized floral and scrolling...
shawl border
Passion for Exotic Fashion
When Napoleon presented Josephine with a shawl that had been given to him on his Egyptian campaign (1798–1801), he started a fashion craze that lasted half a century and had major economic impacts on several nations. Fashionable ladies wearing the extremely lightweight Neoclassical gowns of the period went wild for the soft, beautiful and very...
An oil sketch of antique column fragments scattered on a hill, with a purple mountain arching in the distance.
Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest Painting on the Acropolis, Athens
While slated to become a lawyer like his father and two brothers in the family firm of Weeks & de Forest, Lockwood de Forest as a young adult aspired to a career in painting. He was related by marriage to the celebrated and very successful landscape painter Frederic E. Church and the de Forest family socialized...
paisley-form pierced brass foil with punched decoration
A Glittering Design by Lockwood de Forest
This brass foil decoration in what we know as a paisley form represents an example of the designs created by Lockwood de Forest, the foremost exponent of Indian design in America during the last quarter of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. De Forest went to India in 1881 on his honeymoon to see first-hand...
Green painted wooden frame with metal wires, modeled after the Rialto Bridge. Intricate wire scrollwork; four doors; two feed cups; hinged panel at either end for removal of trays (trays missing).
Birds of a Feather Collect Together
Every year the fun-loving Hewitt family toured Europe, where they purchased books, prints, textiles, and objects for their budding collections. This photograph shows the Hewitt sisters, Sarah, Amy, and Eleanor, on a gondola in Venice in the 1880s. Perhaps the inspiration for this birdcage, the Rialto Bridge, is just behind them. The oldest bridge to span the...
A ship-shaped bowl, supported by two mermaids, is surmounted upon a base representing the sea. The bowl is flanked by two high columns with mermaid finials connected to each other by a pole entwined with ribbon. Traces of framing lines are visible at the edges of the sketch.
An Ornate Boat with a Mysterious Purpose
As the artist for the ducal court at Mantua in the early sixteenth century, Giulio Romano designed everything from architecture and stage sets to fresco programs and metalwork. But the purpose of this drawing remains a mystery. It features a vessel in the shape of a ship, supported by two mermaids, who rise up from...
Square, 3rd4th century
Spellbound
Knots were an apotropaic motif in late Roman Egypt, meaning that they were thought to protect against evil. The Greek word katadeo means both to physically bind and to spellbind. The presence of knot motifs on this burial pillow represents a hope for protection in death. Similar designs ornamented painted burial shrouds. While in late...