|Flirt advertisement, |
|Two panels from Les Heures du Jour, 1899: |
Repos de la nuit & Éveil du matin.
Victor Horta, later Baron Horta, came perhaps the closest with the Hôtel Tassel --and why is it that I can only find pictures of this bloody stairwell? Here are three different views of it, all of them lovely, if perhaps a bit maddening in their insistence; of course other pictures do exist, but they all seem rather barren compared to the living curves and fernlike profusion here at the turning of the steps. I have yet to see a room by Horta that seems as alive and sinuous as this movement between floors....
|Salome Dancing Before Herod, 1874|
And finally, there is my own last, lost, living room, an ode to Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, Gaston Bachelard, Lewis Carroll and Louis Aragon. Here, a glimpse of its celestial ceiling, a miniature cathedral in the making. I don't miss it; I hadn't learned how to make a sacred space a living one. It was magical, oh yes, but not alive...(Do you see the moss that creeps into Cleopatra's room? How wonderful -- not the usual violent female Pharoah up to her elbows in blood and rose petals, but a woman caught between two worlds, the earth coming to speak to her in the splendor of her chambers...)
Wish me luck.