Last edited 05 Jul 2021

Horror vacui

Gardner’s Art Through the Ages (eighth edition) was published in 1986 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. It was written by Horst de la Croix and Richard G. Tansey.

It defines horror vacui as: “Literally, ‘fear of empty space’: crowded design.”

The term horror vacui has been used to describe excessive ornamentation that was often associated with Victorian times. The term has also been applied to decorative carpets, illuminated manuscripts, Islamic art and other objects from earlier periods and other cultures.

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