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the continuing curve [design before ‘Design’]

Pierre Woeiriot 1555-1562

Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona World’s Fair, 1929; arch. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

United Kingdom Pavilion, Shanghai Expo, 2010; arch. Thomas Heatherwick

Fashion plate from Galerie de Mode late 18th century, Gladys Marcus Library, FIT

Fashion plate from Sartorial Arts Journal late 19th century, Gladys Marcus Library, FIT

Jacques Louis David The Oath of the Horatii, 1784

Francois Boucher

An Autumn Pastoral, 1749

The Parthenon, Athens (448-432 BC)

Pantheon, Rome; 126 AD (second century)

Andrea Palladio’s Villa Almerico-Capra "La Rotonda” in Vicenza, Italy, 1550

School of Athens, fresco by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509

Mannerism and the Late Renaissance

Michelangelo, Laurentian Library, San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy from 1524

Baroque Architecture, Italy

Borromini, Dome of San Ivo della Sapienza, 1642-62, Rome, Italy

Peter Paul Rubens, Massacre of the Innocent, 1611

Bernini and Roman Baroque

Bernini, Baldacchino, St. Peter’s 1624-33, Rome, Italy

Bernini and Roman Baroque

Bernini, Throne of St. Peter, 1657-66, St. Peter’s, Rome, Italy

Design for a frame Johann Paul Schor Rome Second half of seventeenth century

Mirror with sunflower motif Anonymous Rome Second half of seventeenth century

“the bed’s innovation and magnificence filled all the world with admiration”

State bed of Maria Mancini Colonna Johann Paul Schor Rome c.1663


Print from Tableaux d’ornements et rocailles Designed by Jacques Lajoue French c.1740

Centerpiece and terrines for the Duke of Kingston Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier Paris 1735

Juste-Aurele Meissonier

Candelabra Paris, 1734

“We should be infinitely obliged to (metal smiths) if

they would be good enough not to alter the intention of things and to remember for instance that a candlestick ought to be straight and perpendicular in order to support its light, not twisted as if someone had forced it out of shape; that its pan ought to be concave so as to hold the wax than runs down and not convex so as to let it drop in a sheet on the candlestick, besides a quantity of other charming devices no less unreasonable which it would take too long to mention.�

Charles-Nicholas Cochin Mercure de France December, 1754

ormolu chĂŠnets unidentified maker France ca.1730

“They heap cornices, bases, columns, cascades, rushes and rocks in a confused manor, one upon the other; and in some corner of this chaos, they will

place a cupid in a great fright, and have a festoon of flowers above the whole.” Abbé le Blanc

“What do the pendulum clocks, so much in fashion, resemble; which have neither basis not console, but seem to spring out of the wainscot . . . those stags, dogs, huntsmen, or Chinese figures, which they dispose in so odd a manner about the dial-plate; are they its natural ornament?” Abbé le Blanc Letter to Comte de Caylus 1737-44

Rococo cartel clock

attributed to Jacques Caffieri France c.1750

“Be pleased not to make a scythe smaller than an hourglass, a hat or tambourine larger than a bass viol, a man’s head smaller than a rose, a bill hook as large as a rake, etc. It is with much regret that we find ourselves obliged to beg them (artisans) to confine their genius within these laws of proportion.� Charles-Nicholas Cochin, 1754

Rococo cartel clock

attributed to Jacques Caffieri France c.1750


Antoine Gadreaux and Jacques Caffieri France ca.1738

Casket (coffres de toilette) Maker unknown France 1755-1760

“We furnish them with fine straight wood and that they ruin us with expense by working it into all these sinuous forms, that in bending our doors in order to subject them to circularities which it pleases the good taste of our modern architects to give to all our

rooms, they make us spend much more than if they were to make them straight, and that we find no advantage in them since we pass just as well through a straight door as through

a rounded door.� Charles-Nicholas Cochin Mercure de France December, 1754


J. B. Zimmermann Germany 1745-54

Robert Clee Trade card for liquor dealer English ca.18th century

Critiques of the rococo • • • •

Illogical, Irrational or “unnatural” (material, structure and ornament) Corrupting, seductive, luxurious, ephemeral, fashionable Dysfunctional, decorative expensive

Title cartouche

A New Book of Ornaments Antonio Visentini England, 1753

the continuing curve Rococo


• • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

curvilinear, organic exuberant and emotional feminine, private amoral and irrational synthetic and inclusive artist as servant, artisanal a-historical

rectilinear, geometric restrained and rational masculine, public moral and rational reductive and exclusive visionary and academic ancient pedigree

A New Book of Ornaments AntonioVisentini England, 1753

John Baskerville Title page for Virgil’s Bucolica England, 1757

H么tel Tassel

Staircase Victor Horta Brussels, 1893

Art Nouveau

Sitting room furniture Georges De Feure Paris, 1900

Parody of Art Nouveau /Jugendstil Interiors, Berlin, c.1900

MT8 table lamp

Wilhelm Wagenfeld Germany, 1924

Jan Tschichold, Germany, 1925

Marcel Breuer, Wassily-Chair, Bauhaus, 1926

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France, 1929-31

Seagram Building Mies van der Rohe + Philip Johnson New York 1958

Organic Midcentury Modernism

Eero Saarinen, TWA Terminal, JFK Airport, New York, 1956-62

La Chaise Charles and Ray Eames USA, 1948-present


Teakettle Michael Graves for Alessi USA, 1985

Heatwave radiator Joris Laarman, The Netherlands 2003

‘Polyvalent’ Modernism

‘Polyvalent’ Modernism

Cinderella Table

Jeroen Verhoeven The Netherlands, 2004

Week 2: The Continuing Curve  

Exploring the 'senuous impulse' in design, from the Rococo to contemporary design

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