Publications

Books

Books 

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Une théorie universelle au milieu du XIXe siècle. La Grammar of Ornament d'Owen Jones

(Rome: Campisano Editore, 2017)
 

Based on my PhD, this book proposes the first detailed analysis of Owen Jones's pioneering Grammar of Ornament and its genesis, examining the tensions between text and image. Through the careful examination of its material production, the volume highlights the importance of the various devices that lead to its creation: from the London World Exhibition of 1851 to the Crystal Palace of Sydenham, from the teaching of decorative arts to the Museum of Ornamental Art (now Victoria and Albert Museum), from the editorial market to architecture and interior design. 

Link to publisher

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Villa Monticello: l'Ambasciata di Svizzera in Italia 

(Rome: De Luca Editori d'Arte, 2013)

The volume retraces for the first time the history of Villa Monticello, which origine goes back to the 16th century and the evolution of its architectural forms. It also examines the drastic territorial transformations undergone in the early 20th by the Monti Parioli in Rome.

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All Saint's Church: a History and Guide to the Church 

(Rome: Gemmagraf, 2006)

 

Designed by Victorian architect George Edmund Street, All Saints' Church was built between 1882 and 1887. The volume provides a history of the church and of the Anglican presence in Rome in the 19th century.

Edited volumes

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à l’orientale: Collecting, Displaying and Appropriating Islamic Art and Architecture in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries, ed. by Francine Giese, Mercedes Volait and Ariane Varela Braga (Leiden: Brill, 2020)

This volume offers a collection of essays that examine the mechanisms and strategies of collecting, displaying and appropriating islamic art in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many studies in this book concentrate on lesser known collections of islamic art, situated in Central and Eastern Europe that until now have received little attention from scholars.  

Link to publisher

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Der Orient in der Schweiz. Neo-Islamische Architektur und Interieurs des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. by Francine Giese, Leïla el-Wakil and Ariane Varela Braga (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019)

This volume examines the fascinating and still little known orientalising architecture of Switzerland. Divided in five thematic sections and presenting largely unpublished material, it considers the reception of Islamic art and architecture in several regions of the country through a selection of case studies from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The focus is lead on questions regarding oriental interiors, architecture and religious identity, the local and global reception of neo-Moorish style, as well as the Orient in the context of exhibitions and decorative arts. 

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Roma e gli artisti stranieri. Integrazione, reti e identità (XVI-XX s.), ed. by Ariane Varela Braga and Thomas-Leo True (Roma: Artemide Editoriale, 2018)

 

Addressing the issue of migration from a particular perspective, this volume focusing on cases of artists - or groups of artists - who went to Rome and remained there permanently. The intent is to deepen the understanding of the process of integration of the foreign artist in the local environment, exploring the migration patterns and the dynamics of settlement in the papal city, the parallel, complementary or contrasting experiences of artists who were gradually transformed from "itinerant" to stable "immigrants".

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The Power of Symbols. The Alhambra in a Global Perspective, ed. by Francine Giese and Ariane Varela Braga (Bern: Peter Lang, 2018)

 

This volume intends to foster a re-interpretation of the Nasrid architecture of the Alhambra in Granada and its post-Islamic appropriation and global diffusion. Taking into account the current debates on otherness, cultural exchange and artistic transfer, hybridization, stylistic renewal and national identity building, this collection of essays explores the significance of the Alhambra from the Nasrid period to the present time. 

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Cybèle Varela. Tropicalismo Remixed, ed. by Valentina Locatelli and Ariane Varela Braga (Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2018)

Cybèle Varela is one of the key figures of Tropicalismo and Brazilian Pop Art. The texts and interview included in this catalogue shed new light on the artist’s contribution to Latin American and international artistic discourses, including Pop Art, Narrative Figuration and Video Art. Questions of identity, social and political issues and transnational experiences are central to Varela’s multifaceted production, from the 1960s to the present day.

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Fashionable Style. Carl von Diebitsch und das Maurische  Revival, ed. by Francine Giese and Ariane Varela Braga (Bern: Peter Lang, 2017)

 

As a global phenomenon of the 19th century, the Moorish Revival testifies to the fascination of Western architects for the Islamic heritage of al-Andalus. This played a central role in the work of Carl von Diebitschs (1819-1869), who was one of the first German architects to study the nasrid buildings of Granada, the spectacular Palaces of the Alhambra, the Alcázar of Seville and the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, in the years 1846-1847.

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The Myth of the Orient. Architecture and Ornament in the Age of Orientalism, ed. by Francine Giese and Ariane Varela Braga (Bern: Peter Lang, 2016)

This volume commemorates the 160th anniversary of the Selamlik of Oberhofen Castle near Thun – one of the most significant Swiss Orientalist interiors, designed by the Bernese architect Theodor Zeerleder (1820-1868) – by presenting the latest research on the spectacular smooking room inspired by the luxurious reception halls in Cairo Zeerleder discovered during his travels to the East. At the same time, this collection of essays explores the signification of the famous city on the Nile as a privileged model for 19th century architecture and ornamentation.

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Splendor Marmoris. I colori del marmo, tra Roma e l'Europa, da Paolo III a Napoleone III, ed. by Grégoire Extermann and Ariane Varela Braga (Roma: De Luca Editori d'Arte, 2016)

Symbol of luxury, power and sacrality, the marbles gathered during the Roman Empire were the object of several reuses in the Middle Ages and Modern times. This volume examines the use of coloured marbles, antique and modern, in architecture, the decorative arts and sculpture, from the reign of Paolo III Farnese until the mid-nineteenth century. In the 27 essays, written by international experts, Rome appears as the center of an identity – that of the magnificence of marble –, which strength is illustrated through a series of case studies taken from Italy, France, and Spain, with incursions into Portugal, Russia and England.

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Ornament, between Art and Design. Interpretations, Paths and Mutations, in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Ariane Varela Braga (Basel: Schwabe, 2013)

In recent years, the study of ornament has been the object of a reevaluation in art history, architecture and in the contemporary arts. This volume presents the proceedings of a study day held in 2009 at the Swiss Institute in Rome, focusing on the theories developed in the nineteenth century, when ornament was gradually liberated from the traditional rhetoric of decorum.

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Edited journals (guest editor)

2018

Hybrid Forms: Architectural Ornament and Intercultural Dialogues, bfo-Journal, 3, 2018.

Go to the volume and read the editorial here

2017

Die Aneigning des Orients/L'appropriation de l'Orient, SGMOIK Bulletin, 44, 2017 (issue co-edited with Francine Giese).

Peer-reviewed articles 

2020

“‘Troppo amanti degli oggetti orientali’? Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona, a Collector of Islamic Art in Nineteenth-Century Florence?”, in: A l’Orientale ̶ Collecting, Displaying and Appropriating Islamic Art and Architecture in the nineteenth and early twenty centuries, ed. by F. Giese, M. Volait and A. Varela Braga, Leiden: Brill: 165-176.

2020
2019

"Owen Jones, Gottfried Semper et les origines anthropologiques de l'art ornemental", in: Palindromo, 12/27: 35-55.

“Détours orientaux sur les rives du Léman. Les modèles islamiques à l’École des Arts Industriels de Genève”, in: Der Orient in der Schweiz. Neo-Islamische Architektur und Interieurs des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. by F. Giese, L. el-Wakil and A. Varela Braga, Berlin: De Gruyter: 165-183.

2019
2019

“Do exotismo à perspectiva global. Owen Jones e a gramática do ornamento em série”, Revista de História da Arte – Serie W: The Art of Ornament. Senses, archetypes, shapes and functions, 8: 5-14.

“Translocation Metropolitan Display Strategies in 19th-century Europe. Frederick Stibbert, Henri Moser and their Orientalist Style Rooms”, International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 8/1: 115-140 (co-author with Francine Giese).

2017
2016

The Arab Room of the Cerralbo Palace”, Art in Translation - special issue on Spain and Orientalism, 9/1: 7-28.

“Une Alhambra florentine : la salle mauresque de la Villa Stibbert”, in: Period rooms: allestimenti storici tra arte, gusto e collezionismo, ed. by M. Volait, D. Poulot and S. Costa, Bologna, BPU: 161-168.

2016

“Un modello da seguire. La fortuna della Grammar of Ornament di Owen Jones in Italia nella seconda metà dell’Ottocento”, in: Tra Oltrealpe e Mediterraneo. Arte in Italia 1860-1915, ed. by M. Carrera, N. D’Agati, S. Kinzel, Bern: Peter Lang: 141-54.

2016

“Resplendence of al-Andalus. Exchange and Transfer Processes in Mudéjar and neo-Moorish Architecture”, Asiatische Studien, 70, 4: 1307-1353 (co-author with Francine Giese, et all).

2012

Les enjeux de la préférence pour les arts primitifs et islamiques dans le discours sur l’ornement au milieu du XIXe siècle”, Images re-vues, Inactualité de l’ornement, 10/2012. Read the article here.

2003

Varela Braga, A. (2003). “L’ornementation primitive dans la Grammar of Ornament d’Owen Jones (1856)”, Histoire de l’art, 53: 91-101.

Reviews

Other articles

2020

 “Le Museo artistico industriale de Rome: un South Kensington italien?”, in: Pèlerin sans frontières: mélanges en l'honneur de Pascal Griener, ed. by P. Guerdat, C. Hurley, V. Kobi and D. Sagardoyburu, Genève: Droz: 359-364. 

2019

“Between Crisis and Renewal. Exoticism and the Decorative Arts at the International Exhibitions in the 19th and early 20th centuries”, in: Actas del III Encuentro del Museo Cerralbo, ed. by C. Sanz Diaz. Madrid: Museo Cerralbo: 77-99. Read the volume here.

2019

“Hermann Hammann: un historien des arts décoratifs à Genève”, in: Regards croisés sur les arts à Genève (1846-1896), ed. by F. Elsig, F. Huber and S. Wenger, Genève: Georg: 201-218.

2019

“Visualising a Universal Theory of Ornament. Owen Jones’ “Grammar of Ornament” (1856)”, in: Productive Universals - Specific Situations. Analysis and Intervention in Art, Architecture and Urbanism, ed. by A. Kockelkorn and N. Zschocke, Berlin, Sternberg Press: 70-91.​

2018

“Studying Foreign Artists in Rome”, in: Roma e gli artisti stranieri. Integrazione, reti e identità (XVI-XX s.), ed. by A. Varela Braga and T.-L. True, Rome: Artemide: 15-29 (co-author with Thomas-Leo True).

2017
2017

“How to visit the Alhambra and “be home in time for tea”: Owen Jones’s Alhambra Court in the Crystal Palace of Sydenham”, in: A Fashionable Style. Carl von Diebitsch und das maurische Revival, ed. by F. Giese and A. Varela Braga, Bern: Peter Lang: 71-84.

“Architecture, Ornament and Colour: The Fascination for the Islamic Heritage of al-Andalus in 19th-century Europe”, in: A Fashionable Style. Carl von Diebitsch und das maurische Revival, ed. by F. Giese and A. Varela Braga, Bern: Peter Lang: 29-44 (co-author with Francine Giese). 

2017

"The Alhambra en miniature. Architectural Models in 19th-century Europe", in: A Fashionable Style. Carl von Diebitsch und das maurische Revival, ed. by F. Giese and A. Varela Braga, Bern: Peter Lang, 97-112 (co-author with Francine Giese).

2016

“Owen Jones and Ornament in a Global Perspective”, in: Weltgeschichten der Architektur, Urspünge, Narrative, Bilder 1700-2016, exhibition catalogue (München, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, December 2016-February 2017), ed. by, M. Burioni, Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag: 44-48.

2016

“Marmi e magnificenza: il modello romano”, in: Splendor marmoris. I colori del marmo, tra Roma e l’Europa, da Paolo III a Napoleone III, ed. by G. Extermann and A. Varela Braga, Roma: De Luca: 9-27 (co-author with Grégoire Extermann).

2016

“Ornement, architecture et marbre polychrome: la contribution de John Ruskin”, in: Splendor marmoris. I colori del marmo, tra Roma e l’Europa, da Paolo III a Napoleone III, ed. by G. Extermann and A. Varela Braga, Roma: De Luca: 459-468.

2016
2015
2015
2014
2013
2013

“Owen Jones and the Oriental Perspective”, in: The Myth of the Orient. Architecture and Ornament in the Age of Orientalism, ed. by F. Giese and A. Varela Braga, Bern: Peter Lang: 149-164.

“Blick nach Osten – Orientbegeisterung in Europa des 19.Jahrhunderts”, in: Mythos Orient. Ein Berner Architeckt in Kairo, exhibition catalogue (Schloss Oberhofen, June 2015-October 2016), ed. by F. Giese, Oberhofen: Stiftung Schloss Oberhofen: 20-24.

“Die Faszination der islamischen Ornamentik”, in: Mythos Orient. Ein Berner Architeckt in Kairo, exhibition catalogue (Schloss Oberhofen, June 2015-October 2017), ed. by F. Giese, Oberhofen: Stiftung Schloss Oberhofen: 30-34

 “Rethinking ornament: 'ornamental art' and its issues in mid-nineteenth century Great Britain”, in: Seriell individuel – Handwerkliches im Design, ed. by G. Brever and Ch. Oestereich, Weimar: VDG: 43-54.

“Règles et principes: le dessin d’ornement en Angleterre à la fin du XVIIIe siècle”, in: Questions d’ornements (XVe-XVIIIe), ed. by R. Dekoninck, C. Heering, P.-Y. Kairis, Turnhout: Brepols: 295-301.

“Uno sguardo globale: Owen Jones e la Grammar of Ornament”, in: Ornamento, tra arte e design: interpretazioni, percorsi, e mutazioni nell’Ottocento, ed. by A. Varela Braga, proceedings of the study day held on April 23, 2009 at the Swiss Institute in Rome, Basel: Schwabe: 45-57.

2009

“Fortune et renouveau du modèle italien dans l’enseignement des arts décoratifs en Grande-Bretagne (1837-1860), in: Eternal Tour 2009 XYZ, ed. by D. Bernardi and N. Etienne, Hauterive: Gilles Attinger: 35-41.

Exhibition catalogues

2020

“La théorie de la couleur, entre art et science" in: La redécouverte de la couleur, exhibition catalogue ed. by F. Giese (Romont, Vitromusée (21 June 2020 - 28 February 2021), Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020, pp. 11-28. 

2018
2016
2015
2015

“Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed. An Introduction” (with V. Locatelli), in: Cybèle Varela: Tropicalismo Remixed, exhibition catalogue ed. by V. Locatelli and A. Varela Braga(Basel, Brasilea Stiftung, 18 January – 14 June 2018), Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2018, pp. 15-17.

    

“Owen Jones and Ornament in a Global Perspective”, in: Weltgeschichten der Architektur, Urspünge, Narrative, Bilder 1700-2016, exhibition catalogue ed. by M. Burioni (München, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, December 2016-February 2017), Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag, 2016, pp. 44-48.

    

“Blick nach Osten – Orientbegeisterung in Europa des 19.Jahrhunderts”, in: Mythos Orient. Ein Berner Architeckt in Kairo, exhibition catalogue ed. by F. Giese (Schloss Oberhofen, June 2015-October 2017), Oberhofen: Stiftung Schloss Oberhofen, 2015, pp. 20-24.

 

“Die Faszination der islamischen Ornamentik”, in: Mythos Orient. Ein Berner Architeckt in Kairo, exhibition catalogue ed. by F. Giese (Schloss Oberhofen, June 2015-October 2017), Oberhofen: Stiftung Schloss Oberhofen, 2015, pp. 30-34.

 
 
 

Reviews

2020

Book review: Micaela Antonucci, Sabine Frommel (eds.), Da Bologna all’Europa: artisti bolognesi in Portogallo (secoli XVI-XIX), Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2017, in: Bollettino d’Arte, 2020 (2018), pp. 266-270

2019

Book review: Giovanni Curatola (ed.), Islam e Firenze: Arte e collezionismo dai Medici al Novecento, Florence, Giunti, 2018 and Alessandro Diana, Simona Mammana (eds.), Immagini d’Oriente: La riscoperta dell’arte islamica nell’Ottocento, Florence, Giunti, 2018, in: The Burlington Magazine, July 2019, pp. 612-613.

2019

Book review: Loretta Vandi (ed.), Ornament and European Modernism. From Art Practice to Art History, London and New York, Routledge, 2018, in: Journal of Art Historiography, March 2019,  pp. 1-11.

Read the review here

2015
2015

Book review: Lucie Fléjou, Michaël Decrossas (eds.), Ornements, XVe-XIXe siècles. Chefs-d’œuvre de la Bibliothèque de l’INHA, collections Jacques Doucet, Paris: Mare&Martin/INHA, 2014, in: Sehepunkte, 15, 2015.

Read the review here.

Book review: Véronique Gerard-Powel (ed.), Alma-Tadema e i pittori dell’800 inglese. La collezione, Pérez Simón, Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2014, in: The Burlington Magazine, January 2015, p. 40.

2011
2009

Exhibition review: Pre-Raphaelites and Italy: Rom), in The Burlington Magazine, June 2011, pp. 431-432.

Exhibition review:  Varela Braga, A. (2009), “Villa Aperta”, La Tribune de l’Art, 279, 26.07.2009.

2007

Book review: Carol H. Flores, Design, Ornament, Architecture, and Theory in an Age in Transition, New York, Rizzoli, 2006, in: The Burlington Magazine, June 2007, p. 424.