Owen Jones and The Alhambra

Over the past year, Paula Pages, a postgraduate student from the University of Edinburgh has enjoyed an internship at Edinburgh Central Library which has given her the opportunity to explore Central Library’s Special Collections. She has used her studies to create our new Capital Collections exhibition: Travel to Perfection: Owen Jones and The Alhambra.

Owen Jones was a British architect and designer who travelled to Granada in Spain in 1834 and 1837. His first visit was after he completed his architecture studies and formed part of his own Grand Tour around Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Spain.

When Jones reached Granada he was captivated, like many travellers before him, by the architecture and decoration of The Alhambra Palace.  He was amazed by the way the Moorish designers played with geometry to create endless decorative patterns within the 14th century fortress. Inspired by the Alhambra, Moorish style became a  major theme of Jones’ career.

Owen Jones and The Alhambra uses selected pages from his essential handbook, the Grammar of Ornament and explains the artist’s inspiration behind his intricate and exquisite designs.


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