Analysis Of Tennyson's The Palace Of Art

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In Tennyson's “The Palace of Art” of 1832 the soul of an artist in female form travels through a palace, full of art, the artist's soul visits many interiors and rooms filled with art objects of various media, themes and styles. It is an early nineteenth century representation of the artist and the world he wishes to represent through a series of atmospheric interiors, using a type of symbolic room language. Perhaps influenced by the Wunderkammer of the seventeenth century Tennyson anticipates the eclectic historicism of the mid nineteenth century where artists and collectors would assemble series of rooms in various historic styles, perhaps neo-Gothic, Japanese, juxtaposed next to Neo-Renaissance or Persian. This would influence the later …show more content…
The Western bourgeois interior holds traces of this exotic ‘other’ but they had been domesticated and made safe. This space was arranged as an illusion of living in a private museum, filled with symbolic ritual ceramic objects such as the tea set. Benjamin was interested in the bourgeois ‘interiors’ he saw the collector strip objects of their commodity value, for a system based on connoisseurship, where the collector projects his longings into an idealized past, or exotic ‘other’ as represented through his collection. This space became a refuge for values, such as art and collecting, wealth and status. The Liberty store in London would later market this aesthetic ‘lifestyle’ to clients around the world, these interiors would form the basis of the loosely defined ethos of Aesthetic Movement’s ‘art for art’s sake’. The concept of unified interior decoration came from the Islamic architecture of mosques and temples, which nineteenth century enthusiasts transferred to the domestic sphere. One example of overwhelming decorative unity is found in the castle of Sammezzana near Florence, These unified interiors decorated from floor to ceiling with repeated abstract pattern. These grand interiors filtered down to middle …show more content…
The date which marked a watershed in the discovery of privately-owned pieces of Oriental art in Britain was the first Exhibition of Persian and Arab Art held in London in 1885. This was organised by the Burlington Fine Arts Club, with loans from private collectors in the exclusive neighbourhood of Holland Park where aristocrats, industrialists and artists lived and who played a paramount part in the Orientalist and Aesthetic Movement providing patronage for artists like the Pre-Raphaelites and also James McNeill Whistler. The shared passion of Rossetti and Whistler for Old Blue and white china had an important part in the construction of cultural value connected to Oriental china, the ‘chinamania’ which had begun to sweep through Western Europe from the late eighteenth century and which reached its apogee in the Aesthetic interior.
In 1876 Whistler began work on a dining room for Frederick Leyland a rich industrialist, harmonizing the colour scheme to compliment his painting La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine, which was to become the background for valuable Old Blue and white china in an elaborate scheme of decoration based on a peacock theme