Mosaic from the Alhambra's Hall of the Ambassadors
Owen Jones (1809 - 1874) , though a professional architect, is best remembered today as an influential recorder and originator of design patterns. After his apprenticeship in London, he made the Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East, recording his travels in watercolor. In 1834 he visited Spain, where he was captivated by the Alhambra, the citadel and palace of the rulers of Moorish Spain, built in the 13th and 14th centuries in Granada. Along with his friend Jules Goury, he surveyed the palace and documented its many intricate Moorish decorations. This resulted in the publication of Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra in 1842. Jones could not find a printer skilled or advanced enough to produce the sumptious publication to his high standards, so he tackled the project himself. These volumes are considered to be the earliest British examples of a fine chromolithographic publication.
Jones became so prominent a designer that he was appointed Superintendent of the Works for London's Great Exhibition in 1851, and subsequently designed historically themed rooms for the Crystal Palace when it was moved in 1854.