Friday, July 11, 2014

Tea for Tomb

Meissen obelisks
Terre Cabade Cemetery, Toulouse
I stumbled across these ceramic Rococo obelisks (c. 1750)  during an online search unrelated to ceramic Rococo obelisks. Like pyramids, I often associate obelisks with death, not so much for their Egyptian origins but because so many tombs and war memorials use them. A chapel overflowing with death-related iconography in Toulouse's Notre Dame de la Daurade (see the three images below) is flanked by two frescoes; the chapel's side walls are decorated on one side with images of the arts and spiritual might, the other side with images of the the sciences and worldly might, arranged in a fashion much like they are on these table settings. A kind of (perverse?) dissonance that these gaily-colored ornaments evoke (for me) a dark altar in a chapel of death. Roughly contemporary to boot. Construction on the current church was begun in 1761.

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