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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The House as True Romance, M. H. Baillie Scott

From Houses and Gardens, Arts and Craft Interiors, Chapter 17 - The Soul of the House, published 1906,  by M. H. Baillie Scott:

"A house too may possess that strange inscrutable quality of the True Romance.  Not shallow, showy, and pretentious as most modern mansions are, but full of a still, quiet earnestness which seems to lull and soothe the spirit with promises of peace.  Such a house is the greatest achievement possible to the art of man better than the greatest picture, because it is not a dream alone, but the dream come true - a constant daily influence and delight."

This quote reminded me of two previous posts, the first one about Edward Burne-Jones's view of art as a dream of something too impossibly beautiful to be real and the second post about "gesamtkunstwerk", a perfect synthesis of all the arts.  Having a Burne-Jones painting in your Baillie-Scott house would make for good gesamtkunstwerk I reckon.

 detail of stair risers in house above

The house photographs are from a beautiful book, Baillie Scott, The Artistic House by Diane Haigh.  I'll write more about Baillie Scott, and his interior work, in a day or two.