Kanye's Tiepolo Fantasy

I've been fascinated for weeks by one of Kanye West's newer videos -- his cracked-out tribute piece to the glorious work of Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo, rendered in weirdly baroque CGI:

Reminds me in particular of the staircase frescoes completed in Würzburg, Germany, that show Apollo and an allegorical depiction of the continents.

"Giambattista and Domenico designed each section to be viewed from specific 'stopping points' specified by the patron. Here visitors climbing the staircase could pause to admire the work, and appreciate how the perspective of the fresco seemed to adjust to their position in the room. This imaginative use of perspective helps the allegorical image come alive for viewers, but can make this three-dimensional painting look awkward in two-dimensional photographs."

Perhaps learning a lesson from this utterly modern problem faced by the Würzburg Tiepolos, Mr. West decided to adopt an awkwardly flat composition in his video.

What do we think? I can't be the only person who sees a resemblance.


Rateau, Again

Ah, my desire for all things made by Rateau and associated to Lanvin continues unabated, apparently. But seriously, who could avoid being seduced by this languorous sconce? Christie's describes its form as a butterfly, but to me this looks very much like the folded moths I run into on very early morning walks through the woods, sleeping and phosphorescent in the morning twilight:

"Maison Bagues has confirmed that this sconce was designed by Rateau and executed by Bagues. It was originally conceived as a ceiling light. Bagues also installed this lighting fixture in the Pavillon de l'Elegance at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes." How delightful is that! It was originally conceived as a giant bug crawling across the ceiling! And even more appropriate that it be a moth, prone to attraction to sources of light.

Goes to the hammer on the 15th, and it will be expensive, yes, but I'd rather have this sleeping moth than a lousy car or a time share in Miami, and in 50 years the sleeping moth will be worth many times more than either. Now I find this sconce very charming and can conceive of owning things of this calibre in the future, but this chair, I acknowledge, is in another class and utterly beyond me:

Linked bronze. Lovely. 1.5 to 2 million. "This stunning armchair is one of eight recorded examples of the model. Six were originally created by Armand Albert Rateau for the wealthy American collectors Florence and George Blumenthal and it is from this group that the present armchair originated.

In 1919, Rateau and the Blumenthals happened upon each other while aboard the ocean liner La Savoie traveling between the U.S. and France and it was from this meeting that the Blumenthals became Rateau's first clients. The three had worked together previously, before the war while Rateau held the position of creative director in the prestigious French decorating firm Alavoine & Cie. However, in 1919, when they became re-acquainted, Rateau had set out to work independently.

Shortly after their transatlantic encounter the Blumenthals commissioned a suite of furniture for the patio surrounding the indoor pool at their sumptuous Manhattan townhouse. Taking his cue from the elaborate aquatic murals featuring mermaids swimming below the ocean amongst sea creatures and sea life, Rateau created his magical bronze suite (consisting of six armchairs, two tables and one lamp) with an intricate shell and marine life theme."

Found and greatly admired at one of my favorite blogs, Aestheticus Rex. Available here and here.


Places of My Youth: Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump

Sweater purchased by friend and coveted by me:

Sadly, it's a sweater for small boys and waifish ladies. But it did start the gears in my head, and with a flash I remember the wonders of Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, which is a place I visited as a child in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada (it's also the first Unesco World Heritage Site I experienced firsthand, inspiring my goal to visit every single one over the course of my life).

Rome has been inhabited for 2,500 years; the cliffs at Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump were used continuously by native peoples for at least 5,000.

Beginning miles from the cliffs and at progressively greater speeds, hunters would carefully guide herds of buffalo over the shallow drop, to the plains far below.

Bones lie at the foot of the cliff over 30 feet deep, which is quite a few buffalo. But if the stakes are high, perhaps just once in 5,000 years, a buffalo could fly ...

... though it's unlikely.


Is There Anything Sadder in the Annals of Daily Life Than Broken Dishes?


i Due Gattopardi

My disdain for anything leopard is well documented, but I think I'll make an exception for these two Italian examples. I'd be quite happy with either one -- and one of them is actually available here.
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