[PAPER] Ornament, Industrie and Autonomie around 1800

Publication of the article entitled “Ornement, industrie et autonomie autour de 1800. La querelle berlinoise de l’ornement au prisme de l’industrialisation naissante des arts appliqués en Allemagne” in the fall/winter edition of the journal Cahiers philosophiques (Vrin). Published in French. April 2021.

At the end of the 18th century in Germany, as the fields of textiles and porcelain became increasingly industrialized, a dispute broke out between theoreticians and practitioners over the value of ornaments: are these necessary or superfluous, initiators of order or disorder, in the service of reason or imagination? Should they be taught or banned from academies? This normative crisis will be an opportunity to reassess the boundary, whether it is considered to be watertight or dynamic, between fine and applied arts, and thus inaugurate a pioneering thought of art whose core will be autonomy and where aesthetic and political stakes will appear to be inseparable.

A Berlin KPM porcelain plate from a dinner service for Princess Ferdinand (1791–1798)