Thursday, January 10, 2013

Opera Garnier, Avant Foyer

The Palais Garnier - the iconic setting for the Phantom of the Opera - was designed in 1860 by young architect Charles Garnier and opened in 1875.


Rectangular panels of Salviati mosaics modeled after French painter Paul-Alfred de Curzon's designs can be found on the ornate ceiling panels that decorate the Avant Foyer, which looks over the Grand Staircase. The master mosaicist responsible for the work was Facchina.


The four pairs of Greek mythological gods and goddesses symbolizing love and death include:

Artemis and Endymion


Orpheus and Eurydice


Aurora and Cephalus


 Psyche and Hermes


Garnier noted in adjacent mosaic inscriptions that "decorative mosaic has been used for the first time in France for the ornamentation of this vault and the popularisation [sic] of this art."

The ceiling of the Facade Loggia is also decorated with Salviati mosaics.

Sources:
Cyril's photo on TrekEarth
fact244's flickr Photostream
Just_Bernard's flickr Photostream
Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. New York: Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd., 2008. 41-44.
Ward, James. Historic Ornament. London: Chapman and Hall, 1897. 361.

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