Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Thousand and One Nightmares...

If Seraph were to be crowned Sultan of some exotic foreign land there would likely be a lot of questions to be answered. Queries would sure to be raised regarding both lineage and laws of succession and whether Infernus and Ghaal could both attend the coronation as long as they were seated at different tables. None the less, after the dust settled it would seem prudent to begin the palatial d├ęcor.

The throne room would perhaps be a billowing black tented pavilion reminiscent of gigantic bat wings or of roils of smoke. It goes without saying that it would be necessary to wade through a carpet drenched mire just to reach the dais. Not to mention the treacherous navigation through a knee deep pile pillows of every imaginable shape and material.

The surrounding hall would best be described as a twisted labyrinth worthy of Dr. Caligari. Mirrored hallways and corridors would endlessly reflect columns studded with human skulls and ghoulish archways leading to nowhere and back…

An enclosed courtyard would be filled with jeweled gardens, mechanical birds (iridescent black peacocks, of course…) and enough lanterns and candles to light up all of the Seven Heavens. Gathered would be a menagerie of courtiers dressed in all matters of finery attended by a harem of assorted gilded servants and jewel draped camels and elephants. There would of course be an enchanted orchestra playing only the finest black metal hymns and chants…

Middle Eastern art and design have always been a great source of inspiration to us (possibly leading to a strange and overactive imagination, as proven in the paragraphs above.) The architecture is both complex and precise while never losing an air of fancifulness. Domes, spires and minarets evoke thoughts of magical lands only glimpsed in fairy tales. Decorative objects are both delicate and fragile, yet hearty. Vibrant use of color and pattern used on tiles to textiles provides an endless intoxication of the senses.
Included are some rather unknown paintings by the wonderful and sublime Kay Nielsen (1886 – 1957). Inspired by the stories contained in ‘A Thousand and One Nights’ these painting truly capture the essence of the exotic east. Differing from his usual European themes, his heroes and heroines are still lovely and lithe and his compositions are still ornate and elaborate. Kay Nielsen is truly our favorite of the golden age of illustrators. It is ever so heartening to see him to find a new generation of enthusiastic admirers.

The blood I bleed must be black indeed
Speak the devil in my time of need
Blessed black wings

(‘Blessed Black Wings’ by High on Fire)


{maison classique} said...

Yay for this post! I adore islamic architectural influences (yet, not so fond of the more Moorish influences...probably because they found their way into Pier One and they destroyed the provenance, perhaps?). But anyways, tri-lobed and Islamic arches are so amazing. Arabesque motifs are like dream sequences. My thesis project in design school was based in Islamic architecture. I love to see other designers spotlight this style!

Also, you should consider writing "trashy" novels for designers. Rather than visions of Fabio ripping a damsels shirt off, you can evoke all the details of a fantasy interior-land instead. I bet so many designer's would relish the escape. =) Throw a few renderings in there...you have yourself a best seller. =)

{maison classique} said...

Oh yeah...by the way, thanks for linking to me! =)

Seraph + Splendor said...

Thanks so much...the notion of an interior / fantasy novel sounds like great fun to us as well.

Perhaps something to consider...stay tuned!


Fairwood Haven said...

Such Wonderful Images of Kay Nielsen's Art-!
Thanks for Sharing-! Would love to see that book-! How fortunate to find such a Treasure.

Your Decor Ideas are so Fantastic and Imaginative as always-!

[Tara] said...

I would very much like to be invited to this coronation! I am in awe of your blog right now and feel it is inevitable that I will spend way too much time looking through your posts...thanks so much for stopping by my blog, btw. I have added you to my blogroll.

Jill said...

I love everything about this!

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