L'Ornement Polychrome

Albert-Charles-Auguste Racinet was mostly known today for publishing two major pictorial works on the history of design: Le costume historique and L'Ornement polychrome.


The first of them, L'Ornement polychrome (Colour ornament) is a visual testimony of 100 plates of the decorative arts from ancient times to the eighteenth century. The collection was published in ten parts between 1869 and 1873.


Racinet's work received splendid critics, and it had tremendous success. Therefore, he made a second series, this time of 120 plates, including new designs from the nineteenth century.

Different environments, materials and objects inspire the imagery presented in both series. These included metalwork, textiles, painting, and pottery, among others.

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