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Biography[ edit ] Praz was the son of Luciano Praz died , a bank clerk, and his wife, the former Giulia Testa di Marsciano died , daughter of Count Alcibiade Testa di Marsciano.
His stepfather was Carlo Targioni died , a doctor, whom his mother married in He studied at the University of Bologna —15 , received a law degree from the University of Rome , and received a doctorate in literature from the University of Florence Praz married, on 17 March separated , divorced , Vivyan Leonora Eyles — , an English-literature lecturer at the University of Liverpool whom Praz met during his time there as a special lecturer in Italian studies.
She was a daughter of the English novelist and feminist writer Margaret Leonora Eyles — , who addressed to her in an autobiographical work entitled For My Enemy Daughter. She married in , as her second husband, art historian Wolfgang Fritz Volbach. Praz and Eyles had one child, a daughter, Lucia Praz born Life and writings[ edit ] Mario Praz was a well-respected Italian-born art critic and scholar of the English language.
He then went on to teach English Literature at the University of Rome from , until he retired in Though Mario Praz is perhaps best known for his writings in the English literary field, he has made strong contributions to the concepts, writings and perception of both interior design and interior decoration.
The concepts that were presented in his "The Romantic Agony" have been shaped into his design and art criticism. These works highlight his theories of the interiority of a space, and reveal his concepts to how a person inhabits the interior and how they shape it to make it their own. His ground-breaking work "Studies in seventeenth-century imagery", first published in and reissued many times since, is one of the first attempts to produce a systematic catalogue and analysis of the early modern allegorical genres of the emblem and the personal device.
Design writings[ edit ] Mario Praz has had a profound impact not only on writings about interior design and decoration but also on the history, and the development, of design. The sketches, paintings, and watercolour representations capture the spatial qualities and features of the interiority and decoration of the overall space.
The images record accuracy to the shape of the room, from the carpet, to the furniture, pictures, fabrics, wall colour, the hang of curtains and the placement of light.
This work has had a strong contribution to the impact of not only researching the interiority of a space, but provided a new groundwork into recording a history of an interior. Further, Praz has made an influential impact on the way interior design has been studied and documented since the mid twentieth century. He helped foster the change in the growth of historical design studies and research. His work, An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration, "merges a traditional art-historical approach with philosophical musings about the role of interior assemblage".
He was one of the first designers to note that furnishings were a representation of the individual. This is shown in this writing as he states "furnishings are tangible artefacts of social history".
Praz sees the house and its interiority as "a continuum, which is always in need of furnishing". The concept that the interior is a personal reflection of the individual is personally manifested in his spatial autobiography The House of Life. The concepts and documentation style that was presented in An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration have been continued and challenged through later design writings by other critics and historians.
The House of Life is the easiest way to understand the concept of the interior representing the individual. This detailed recount and writing style has been mimicked in future design writing, in order to document every aspect of the interiority of a space. The concept of horror vacui in art is associated with Praz who used the term to refer to cluttered visual interior design. The work of the interior designer needs to be able to mimic individual needs and wants, so the person can correctly be represented in the interiority of their home.
This concept was initially introduced and highlighted by Praz, and this statement allows an insight into how the workings of the interior are conducted.
Mario Praz, so long a staunch friend of England. He is a great friend of Vernon Lee. Edmund Wilson , in "The Genie of the Via Giulia", wrote that Praz "will come to be known to posterity - so far as a foreigner can judge - as one of the best Italian writers of his time". La carne, la morte e il diavolo nella letteratura romantica, Praz, Mario. The Romantic Agony Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery London, English Miscellany: a symposium of literature, history and arts.
Archived from the original on Retrieved Essays presented to Mario Praz, a cura di V. Gabrieli, Roma, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, , pp. Further reading[ edit ] Morgas, D. Rice, C. Hough, H.
Baudelaire and Flaubert are like the two faces of a Herm planted firmly in the middle of the century, marking the division between Romanticism and Decadence, between the period of the Fatal Man and that of the Fatal Woman, between the period of Delacroix and that of Moreau. The former painted gestures, the latter attitudes. Although far apart in artistic merit after all, Delacroix in his best work is a great painter , they are highly representative of the moral atmosphere of the two periods in which they flourised -- of Romanticism, with its fury of frenzied action, and of Decadence, with its sterile contemplation. The subject-matter is almost the same -- voluptuous, gory exoticism. But Delacroix lives inside his subject, whereas Moreau worships his from outside, with the result that the first is a paniter, the second a decorator.
The Romantic Agony