Caravaggism in Interior Design
As a Design Studio we find inspiration in everything that surrounds us and this month we were particularly inspired by one of art’s most influential and revolutionary figures; Caravaggio.
Until January you can see “Beyond Caravaggio” at the National Gallery, an exhibition that celebrates the influence that the artist had in the world of art. With his naturalistic approach to painting, as well as the way he makes the observer part of the narrative and the dramatic use of the lighting effect “chiaroscuro”, the 16th Century Baroque painter created a new “Caravaggesque” style and a legion of followers in the 17th Century. Whilst his peers clearly recognised his influence at the time, only in the 20th Century was his work fully appreciated when rediscovered as an important presence in the development of Western art, with his influence extending beyond painting to the worlds of cinema and television.
In this exhibition, even though it only has six paintings by the artist himself, the essence of Caravaggio is celebrated more than ever and is truly a homage to his legacy. It is well known that Caravaggio disapproved of other artists using his techniques and mimicking his own work but one can only believe that if he could see this exhibition himself, he would truly look proudly on it.
As an Interior Design Studio we can’t help but look at artists’ techniques and see how unconsciously we apply these principles ourselves every day in our projects. A little like the Yin and Yang principle that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, Caravaggio’s technique of chiaroscuro uses light and dark to create an atmosphere and applies drama to highlight actions within a scene. As Interior Designers we apply the same principles through the use of lighting and
shadows, materials and even colour, or the absence of it when using a black and white scheme.
Just like in Old Master Paintings, lighting schemes are important because they can set the scene for a project or simply emphasise architectural features or special pieces that need to be brought to focus – or indeed to light. The use of special materials such as specialist finishes or beautiful dramatic marble can apply the same dramatic effect that Caravaggio used, by highlighting areas within a space and therefore bringing the focus to determinate elements.
In one of our most recent projects for example, Ashberg House, there is a noticeable balance of masculine and feminine elements, with these techniques used to highlight areas within the project. The swimming pool with its monochromatic scheme is a perfect example of dramatic atmosphere created by the use of light and dark, achieved here by the combination of light limestone and polished plater, contrasted with a Brazilian black slate feature wall and dark deep blue tiles submersed in water.
So when looking for inspiration to design your own house just remember that you can find inspiration everywhere, even in the 16th Century – in Caravaggio, and beyond.
Filipa Santos, Junior Designer
Fig.1 Beyond Caravaggio, The National Gallery
Fig.2 Paintings by Caravaggio, on display in ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ at The National Gallery
Fig.3 Swimming Pool, Ashberg House, Chelsea
Fig.4 Chiaroscuro lighting effect on chess pieces
For more information regarding the Morpheus Design House please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
So Tarquin, you have created Cornwall’s first gin in over a century. What was your original inspiration to undertake such a challenge? At the age of 19 I trained as a chef in Paris and then went on to work in a number of different kitchens across France. I’ve always had a passion for developing, […]
“Masterpiece’s star is rising. The event is fast becoming the most imaginative and glamorous art antiques fair in the world…” (The Financial Times, Susan Moore). This year Morpheus have collaborated with Jetfly, the European leader in luxury aircraft, to proudly partner with Masterpiece. This highly anticipated leading international event hosts the very best in fine […]
Salone del Mobile is always an exciting event in any interior designer’s calendar, and this year two of the Morpheus team made the trip to Milan. There were a number of trends and exhibitions that particularly interested our designers, from state-of-the-art technology through to creative art. Whilst the official Pantone colour of 2017 is green, […]
Andrew Murray catches up with Simon Shaw in Morpheus’ recently completed club lounge at Six Senses Residences Courchevel. So Simon, important questions first, as one of the tallest English rugby players how is your skiing going? As you have already seen from our brief encounter on the slopes, whilst not being as technically proficient as […]
In times of fast living and mass consumption a new trend has been emerging in recent years; a desire for uniqueness, authenticity, reliability and craftsmanship. British brands are renowned for their manufacturing, excellent quality, innovation and durability, therefore it shall come as no surprise that international consumers will pay premium prices for British products and […]
When it comes to elevating an interior design scheme from great to exceptional, the magic lies within the detail and the layering of exquisite materials. These edifying details can be found in many different elements of a design, from a perfectly cast metal arm set into a rich silk velvet upholstered chair, or a specialist […]
“When I am shooting architectural and interior spaces I look to break all my images down into the basic components of geometry and light, which are the framework on which the colour and design details hang”
Neil Jacobs is the chief executive officer at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. With over three decades in the hospitality industry Neil is passionate about wellness, sustainability, inventive design, food and experiential travel. Six Senses Residences latest offering is in Courchevel 1850, with the interior furnishings designed by Morpheus.
The team at Morpheus prides itself on producing exceptional bespoke designs for our clients, with many external factors often incorporated in order to achieve this. The local environment often provides a significant influence on the design process, in order to achieve a synergy between what one sees on either side of the window.
In search of decorative inspiration and ideas this Christmas?
When it comes to Christmas trees, natural fir trees always look so much more inviting than their faux counterparts and of course provide that beautiful rich scent which is so evocative of the festive season.
Rule one of buying art is to buy what you love. The piece should resonate with you, have meaning, bring you joy and enrich your life. Much like architecture and interiors, choosing art is deeply personal and a piece that will make one person’s heart skip a beat will leave another completely indifferent.
In this edition of Dispatches we take a look at Monaco to coincide both with the Monaco Yacht Show and the unveiling of THIRTY NINE • Monte Carlo, Monaco’s first private members lifestyle club. Morpheus were commissioned for the design and brand architecture of this trail blazing project.
Morpheus has long recognised the quality of branding and the importance of typography in our designs and presentations. The ways in which typography can communicate the style, tone and voice of a brand makes it a large part of the design process when creating a new branding strategy for a project.
What has your first year with Morpheus London been like? It has been an interesting year! Having known Morpheus first from an external perspective, the company has an unsurpassed name in the industry which is something that really excited me when I was first approached about coming to head the design team. The last year has certainly lived up to those expectations!
Food is one of life’s great indicators. Reflecting social change it can be decadent in times of prosperity and austere in times of downturn. From the nouvelle cuisine of the 1980’s to the de-constructive trends of the early 2000’s, fine dining has an ability to adapt quickly to changing demands, adopting trends in other design industries.
All living organisms despite their spectacular, wondrous and sometimes bizarre diversity have at least one thing in common, the need of food to survive. The way this fuel is consumed varies significantly too. We need to eat and to that end devote a large amount of time and effort toward food preparation, far more than is needed for merely utilitarian nutritional purposes as food can be a great source of pleasure. It can engage our senses, minds and emotions just as much as carefully crafted architectural design and can take us from simply surviving to positively thriving.
I remember someone once shared the following notion with me: Architects do the pretty stuff, Engineers do the ugly details. For a person educated and qualified as both it struck a chord with me, and begs the question – what exactly is the relationship between the two disciplines? Are function and aesthetics compatible now more than they have ever been?
The highly regarded Furniture Fair, Salone Internazionale Del Mobile was hosted in Milan this month. The 6-day event, showcased the latest in furniture, lighting and home furnishing from designers across the globe. The Morpheus team were in attendance, keen to explore the latest trends and to discover a city rich in design history and creative prominence. We explored the Eurolace/design and modern halls during our visit to the Fieramilano.
‘‘Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.’’ (Arthur Erickson) As designers we challenge, create and enhance the living environment. We can influence one’s lifestyle through the physical and psychological implementation of a design but it is not until the interface between space and the inhabitant/user begins that the design truly lives.
Alexander Lee McQueen BOOM A genius that mesmerised our world and then left it, leaving us with an open mouth, still fascinated, still excited. “Alexander McQueen was the rebel king of the British fashion. A designer who reinvented the catwalk and created clothes that silenced his audience. Brilliant, offensive, beautiful, outrageous.
The words ‘Sports Yacht’ traditionally evoke a fast and slender, white yacht gliding through the Mediterranean’s warm seas. Renowned yacht builder, Palmer Johnson, has turned this conventional notion on its head by designing the next generation of sport yachts transformed in its operational performance and design.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the international trade show Maison et Objet in Paris – one of the world’s largest interiors and homeware events. Featuring the hottest designs in furniture, fabrics, lighting, materials and accessories, Morpheus was on the lookout for innovative products, lavish finishes and an insight into the latest trends.
The Morpheus Design Team were tasked with creating a bespoke dining table for a recent residential project in London. This brief was a fantastic opportunity to work with a number of exceptional artisans and craftsmen in order to incorporate a combination of fine materials and innovative techniques.
With an increasing involvement in this prime European region and the surrounding areas and a number of interesting active projects, Morpheus took the opportunity to sponsor the Top Marques Automotive Show in association with Edmond de Rothschild held annually in Monte Carlo.
Seemingly the entire international design industry flocked to Milan in early April 2014 for Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world’s largest and arguably the most important annual design fair, and the Morpheus London Design Team were thrilled to attend and bear witness.