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scala regia magazine six issue
SCALA REGIA #6

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1.
ALASTAIR

THE MULTIFARIOUS BARON
HANS HENNING VOIGT

In order to not underrate Alastair and dismiss his life as an implausible comical act, one must regard his ways from a novelesque standpoint and interpret them with lyrical sentiment. Alastair was the proper character of a medieval fable, worthy of Shakespearean appreciation, and best guided by his zeal for ardent emotion... His life was permeated with choreographed exaltations of himself, which were quite deceptive operatic caprices but done in sake of a supremely mellow existential boredom. His youth was spent in the 1890s and 1900s, where an artistic intelligent soul could only but feel discouraged by life; and where the feeling of depression held its charm... An existence constructed in Baudelairean verse; a feeling of spleen, damask velvets and sequinned silks, bedridden at a forested mountain, isolated in rich interiors while crafting his art, greeting friends in the pulse of ancient tragedies... Furthermore, to our knowledge, the Baron Hans Henning Voigt—Alastair is his nom de plume—is quite poorly known or written about; and this well-read text couldn’t be any more relevant. Here you’ll discover, thanks to Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola, ever so cultured in this field of knowledge, Alastair’s unusual character, life and contributions to the arts and literature.

Words by Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola

2.
THE WORLD EXPOSED

DISSECTING THREE EXCEPTIONAL
DUTCH COLLECTIONS

The Dutch Republic allowed for great things to happen between its foundation in 1581 and dissolution in 1795. During that time, the fashion of collecting by all strata of society resulted in three collections that were considerable achievements for mankind in general. Three contemporary men, one together with his wife, formed cabinets of curiosities that brought insight on the natural world, the human body and cultures from distant lands, thus exposing unknown data about the world. Levinus Vincent (1658-1727) and Joanna van Breda—whose cabinet luxuriously illustrates this article through both realist and fantasist gravures—together with Simon Schijnvoet (1652-1727) and also Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) proove the exceptional touch of the Dutch. Our readers are once again in good hands, as scholar and expert on the matter Bert van de Roemer, who has been studying the subject extensively, wrote this text especially for us.

Words by Bert Van De Roemer

3.
MARTIN HAMMOND

THE MIMIC OF MOVEMENT
IN NATURE

Martin Hammond is a painter of intense colours that are brought together in a way that they produce so much movement, and so harmoniously, that they seem to mimic the movements found in nature. There's vibrancy in everything he does, in his paintings, his pottery, his love of music and instruments. He has a few things to teach us.

Words by Pierre Roffe and
photography by Francis Hammond

4.
RESCUERS OF CIVILISATION

THE EVACUATION OF THE
HERMITAGE DURING WWII

When German troops attacked the Soviet Union and besieged Leningrad (St Petersburg), during what is called in Russia the Great Patriotic War, a phenomenal heroic act was to happen. At the State Hermitage Museum, an art rescue of enormous magnitude was accomplished moments before an horrifying apocalypse of constant air raids, starvation and extreme weather. Millions of objects were sent to the Urals and kept away from danger thanks to the formidable group of workers and friends of the museum, who together with the common folk and soldiers, took care of the wreckage of the vast and empty museum during the almost two and a half years of the siege.

Words by Miguel E. Bermudez and
special thanks to The State Hermitage Museum

5.
BLEARY SIGHT

A FASHION STORY
AT SELSØ MANOR

A dear friend, and as it happens a collaborator of Scala Regia for the second time, Mads Lehn Kruse, had the kind wish to produce another fashion story specially for us. And what a dreamy result has become of it! One can feel being travelled to Selsø manor, located near Roskilde Fjord in Denmark, a renaissance building from the 1570s remodelled with great baroque flair in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Whilst only the outer walls and the vaults of the basement remained, the interiors were refurbished to become gorgeous pannelled and painted rooms, bountiful with marbled surfaces. Today a bit faded, and a bit vacant, the extraordinarily dignified Selsø manor provided the ideal backdrop for a dimmed and gloomy story.

Art direction by Mads Lehn Kruse
and photography by Asger Mortensen

6.
THE AFFAIR OF THE GEM

THE OBSESSION WITH ANCIENT
CAMEOS AND INTAGLIOS

These little colourful gems carved by the Greeks and the Romans are of a beauty so irrefutable, they have been again and again appreciated by different publics and collected as the quintessential cult treasure by every epoch thus far. The taste for these minute artifacts is today as much of a classic as the sculpted stones themselves, and their given worth can be testified by the astronomical values they soar up to in the twenty-first-century market.

Words by G. Max Bernheimer and
special thanks to Christie’s UK

7.
HÔTEL DE GESVRES

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
HOUSE IN PARIS

Crossing the front door of Hôtel de Gesvres, the Parisian residence of Joseph Achkar and Michel Charrière, is always a pleasure and a privilege. The history of Gesvres, like that of other old houses, is rich and surprising and, after a long period of dormancy, has reentered a state of grace. Having been given the chance of once again producing a fashion story there, we did not want to miss the opportunity of making a separate profile of its sumptuous and sensual interiors as well. We invited Francis Hammond to do the photos and the result is the very atmospheric set of pictures that unfold over the next pages.

Words by Diogo Mayo and
photography by Francis Hammond

8.
IDLENESS

THE COVER STORY WITH ULYANA
SERGEENKO AT HÔTEL DE GESVRES

We have brought together Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture and Hôtel de Gesvres in Paris for the cover story of Issue 6. The communion between the dramatic sensuality of the interiors and the extreme luxury of the clothes resulted in a set of sumptuous photographs that are a feast for the eyes... In the midst of luxury and sensuality, one can only but become idle.

Photography by Maria Rita and
art direction by Diogo Mayo & Pierre Roffe

9.
MURAL FUROR

THE ORIGINS, EVOLUTION AND FASHIONS
OF PAPER AS WALL DECORATION

Certainly, we've heard about them and could loosely specify what they were but, the discovery of the vast world that is of wallpaper, we thank to an experience from several nights ago, around Spring. At seven in the afternoon, whilst the descending Sun reflected on the window panes of Ajuda Palace, we attended the lecture given by Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz to drink from her experience with the ancestral medium used as mural decoration. After getting a copy of her book “Wallpaper, A History of Style and Trends”, published in 2009 by Flammarion, a strong wish to produce an article was born. We reached Carolle, and she kindly helped us write about this niche branch of the decorative arts. Hopefully, we will be able to provide our readers interesting facts about another facet of our material, superficial world, that so greatly enriches the arts and our experience of beauty. This article is thus a gathering of the origins and evolution of printed papers used as mural ornamentation.

Words by Pierre Roffe and
special thanks to Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz
and to MAD Paris

10.
DYNASTIC DIGNITY

THE LASTINGNESS OF
THE DAUPHIN'S TREASURE

The Prado Museum has recently let the public start enjoying one of its best hidden and most valuable collections. An assembly of precious, exquisitely handcrafted, decorative objects from around four centuries ago, worthy of bringing eternal glory to any king... Let's see how one of the world’s most marvellous decorative art collections managed to survive until our days.

Words by Alex Couto and
special thanks to The Prado Museum

11.
A LOMBARD ESCAPE

A DAY IN MONTIRONE WITH
THE LECHI FAMILY

A visit to the Italian estate and farm shows the accomplishment of the Counts Lechi: a lively, elegant family who takes care of their future as much as of their illustrious past. Accompanying the magnificent photos of Giovanni Cioli, we present a selection of sumptuous trompe-l'oeil draperies and bordures by Zuber.

Words by Carlo Pescini,
photography by Giovanni Cioli
and special thanks to Zuber

12.
PIETRA DURA

SUMPTUOUS STONES
IN GRAND PARADE

Masterpieces in pietra dura have been praised and prized by the most influential connoisseurs, from sixteenth-century monarchs to contemporary private collectors. These lapidary pictures were, and still are, skilfully made from thin slices of marble and hardstones such as jasper, porphyry, lapis lazuli, petrified wood and many others. Each small section of stone is sawn very precisely, traditionally using wire charged with abrasive powder, and fitted together. Once united, these jewels from nature create an opulent and captivating feast for the eyes, luxurious pictures that can defy time and that, unlike paintings, never fade.

Words by Paul Gallois and
special thanks to Christie’s UK

13.
THE TRIUMPH OF ORNAMENT

THE HIDDEN CABINET OF
CURIOSITIES OF GUILLAUME FÉAU

We have revisited one of our favourite places in Paris... After taking its premisses by assault in 2017 to shoot a fashion story for Issue #4, we have now returned to Féau & Cie in order to photograph some other yet hidden jewels. Competing with the extraordinary collection of ancient boiseries that have helped build the prestige of the company, the personal office of the proprietor, Guillaume Féau, is a veritable cabinet de curiosités crowded with architectural fragments and designs, rare marbles, stones and bronzes, and several other remarkable objets d'art.

Words by Tiago Lorga and
photography by Francis Hammond

SCALA REGIA, 2019