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A Rare Treatise on Interior Decoration and Architecture: Joseph Friedrich zu Racknitz’s Presentation and History of the Taste of the Leading Nations

Available January 2020

Joseph Friedrich zu Racknitz
Edited and translated by Simon Swynfen Jervis

Baron Joseph Friedrich zu Racknitz’s pioneering Presentation and History of the Taste of the Leading Nations in Relation to the Interior Decoration of Rooms and to Architecture (Darstellung und Geschichte des Geschmacks der vorzüglichsten Völker in Beziehung auf die innere Auszierung der Zimmer und auf die Baukunst) is little known today. Racknitz, a German aristocrat, traced an early global history of design and ornament through discussions of what he distinguished as twenty-four essential regional historical tastes. He included those of a diverse group of ancient classical civilizations, European nations and peoples, Eastern civilizations, and more exotic reaches of the world.

This sensitive and informed translation also includes reproductions of the original color plates and essays on Racknitz’s biography, his publication, and the German Enlightenment context, making this an essential volume for studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, decorative arts, and garden design.

Simon Swynfen Jervis has worked extensively as a curator, writer, and scholar of decorative arts. He has authored dozens of books, articles, guidebooks, and exhibition catalogues and organized exhibitions at British, European, and American institutions.

368 pages
10 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches
59 color and 58 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-624-9

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute


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