À la recherche de la grâce

“Cette espèce, comment vous dire, de…reflux de l’expédition d’Égypte, et puis aussi de remontée jusqu’à nous de l’Antiquité, tout cela qui envahit nos maisons, les Sphinx qui viennent se mettre aux pieds des fauteuils, les serpents qui s’enroulent aux candélabres, une Muse énorme qui vous tend un petit flambeau pour jouer à la bouillotte ou qui est tranquillement montée sur votre cheminée et s’accoude à votre pendule, et puis toutes les lampes pompéiennes, les petits lits en bateau qui ont l’air d’avoir été trouvès sur le Nil et d’où on s’attend à voir sortir Moïse, ces quadriges antiques qui galopent le long de tables de nuit”. Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu

The article could end right here without adding any words. But if one wanted to violate Proust’s perfection, he could at least justify the long quotation to declare its intent. We must, thus, start from the first word which is “furniture” and investigate its meaning until we find it in this final and sublime explanation from this quote by Proust.

Since from the origins, man, it is known, surrounds himself of the useful and the beautiful and the archaeological evidence tells us about objects produced with that “spiritual” component called beauty. The motif of a piece of furniture it appears it is not to be looked for in the simple resolution of necessity and basic needs but also in the satisfaction of an aesthetic necessity which makes daily life a spiritual existence and not only material.

A sort of search for our poetic element through the fruition of objects of daily use. It is for this reason that, in our opinion, the great refinement lays in surrounding ourselves with pieces of art, not only those that have been defined as ‘major’ since always but also those of the ‘minor arts’. A living in the refinement of sipping tea in a porcelain cup od Meissen of the 18th century, in the putting back of the flatware in a Bolognese double body wardrobe of the 17th century, or in the placing of the tablet in a Venetian varnished drop-leaf commode or again in the sleeping “in small boat-shaped beds which seem to have been found on the Nile and from which we expect Moses to exit”.

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