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Thomas Hope's influence on interiors and furnishings in the early 19th-century - Term Paper Example

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This paper will discuss Thomas Hope’s influence on interiors and furnishings on the early nineteenth century with the emphasis that he helped revive interest in Egyptian-style design on furniture. The intense interest of one collector, patron, as well as designer cannot be immediately dismissed for one like Thomas Hope…
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Thomas Hopes influence on interiors and furnishings in the early 19th-century
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Download file to see previous pages The freedom and capability to discover and pursue one’s interest is of great factor to any aspiring artists, like Thomas Hope, a young man who was blessed with a family banking fortune at his disposal that aided in his travels around the early civilisations of the world. At a tender age of 18, Hope, through a letter in 1804 addressed to Frances Annesly, already expressed his interest on the arts. “Egyptian architecture I went to investigate on the banks of the Nile, Grecian on the shores of Ionia, Sicily and the Peloponnesus. Four different times I visited Italy to render familiar to me all the shades of the infinitely varied styles of building peculiar to that interesting country…” (Nolan, 2011, P 2) Thomas wrote, which showed his immense interest on the field of his personal choice.
Despite the fortune brought about by the banking industry on the Hope family that originated from Scotland and settlers of Holland, Thomas did not show interest in his inherited trade but instead focused on his “favourite hobby” (Nolan, 2011, P 2) travelling as a student of cultures. Prior to establishing himself in Portland Place, London, Hope stayed in Istanbul to explore the Istanbul/Constantinople lifestyle embodied on their arts and cultures, and produced about 350 drawings of observations of the rich and powerful in that area (Nolan, 2011).
In the purchase of the Adam House in Portland, he established himself in London as a scholarly art collector, interior designer, and patron of artists and craftsmen, of which he had been called “the Furniture” man although some of those who used the term meant to ridicule him. Despite the criticism, he continued to sketch designs for furniture with accompanied texts to advance historically-based knowledge of design as embodied in his several books: Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807); Costumes of the Ancients (1809); Designs of Modern Costumes (1812); and the posthumous An Historical Essay on Architecture (1835) (Nolan, 2011). He also wrote a fictitious romance Anastacius. His travels were also coupled with careful scrutiny of the images in those localities he set foot on, as well as studying of the arts and culture of his host place. Prior to Napoleon’s expedition in 1798, Hope already went as far as Near and Middle East, and Europe. His knowledge of the collections in the Vatican and the Capitoline Museums also contributed to his vivid designs. He also studied architecture and design whilst collecting antiquities that were housed in Duchess. He also sketched many detailed artefacts seen in his travels including landscapes, mosques, palaces, interiors, friezes, reliefs, and other details that stole his fancy (Kelly, nd). His interest in Egyptian art and architecture cannot be undermined. Egyptian forms and decoration was seen as contributed in part by the neo-classicism of his period as well as early European interest in the region (Kelly, nd). It has been suggested that in Hope’s interest of the arts, he came across the work of Dominique Vivant Denon, book Voyag dans la Basee et la Haute Egypte (1802) that detailed his experiences in Egypt as an aide of Napoleon Bonaparte. This book has been seen of great influence to Thomas Hope’s design of furniture (Honour, ___ ) of which it was suggested that “Hope seized on Denon’s Voyage, which very conveniently appeared during the Peace of Amiens, and scanned its plates for illustrations of Egyptian furniture. He sought to reproduce the chairs, couches and beds to be descried in the hieroglyphic paintings and carvings,” (Honour, 1817, p 19). It was observed, however, by Kelly (n.d.) that Hope actually acknowledged Denon as one of his four inspirations in the decorative motifs in his furniture ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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