05 February 2012

Well Said: Nancy Mitford

An 1824 portrait of architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Naples, Italy, by artist Franz-Ludwig Catel. The painting is in the collection of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany.

"I love the French window which marries a house to the firmament instead of dividing them like the stuffy sash."

So observed Nancy Mitford (1904—1973) in her 1961 essay "Portrait of a French Country House."


Karena said...

Oh yes I agree and the painting is most wonderful!

Art by Karena

Notes From ABroad said...

I love it !
I also love your Oscar Wilde quote .. wonderful :)

Gabor said...

It seems in this lovely picture that there is no protection to fall apparently several stories once you step outside.Please explain.
Gabor Paul Mezei

The Devoted Classicist said...

I am in complete agreement.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

we can never seem to get enough of Nancy. On my third reading of Pompadour & am reading Evelyn Waugh & Mitford letters too. I did enjoy the horror of love-. pgt

Hels said...

I think Nancy Mitford and Franz-Ludwig Catel are correct!

Catel's painting of Schinkel looked very familiar so I went back to the 2011 catalogue of the Rooms With a View exhibition, put on by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Thank you ... it still looks terrific.

Toby Worthington said...

Ah, me too, Miss Mitford. And better still, your use
of the term French WINDOWS instead of French DOORS.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Dear Gabor, According to several sources, the painting depicts Schinkel in a room he occupied for a month, in 1824, at Villa Reale in Naples; in the distance is the isle of Capri. I have checked period paintings of Villa Reale and determined that Schinkel's room was on the second floor. Period images show that the second floor of Villa Reale had metal railing; I do not know why Catel removed it for this particular scene.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more dahhling.. beautiful image.

Brillante Interiors said...

Always a treat to read your posts and the comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Loved this post!

My opinion is that he left it out because it obscured the view he was showing!
It was there so children, cats and dogs wouldn't go flying out to their deaths; however; this is a PAINTING!

I can understand! No danger! It just looked better without the railing......

to him! (I always prefer the reality if well-done; I would think it was!)

He was the artist...he got to pick!

Love this post!!!

Nacy - juegos de vestir said...


the painting is most wonderful!

best regards!