|Mariano Fortuny - Wagnerian Cycle - Siegmund & Sieglind's Embrace 1928|
"I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired." Richard Wagner
On Friday at Palazzo Fortuny I felt those vibrations wafting through the air so strongly that I sat on the sofa at the far end of the piano nobile for a long time and wept silently with joy. Mariano Fortuny created an environment inside the Venetian palace where he lived and worked that allowed the vibrations of Divine Thought to permeate the very space itself, vibrations that still resound today. The Fortuny fabric on the walls, the overhead Fortuny lamps, the 46 paintings of the Wagnerian Cycle on display, the books, sculptures, drawings, prints, illustrations, postcards and works of like-minded thinkers, combined with the music of Wagner playing softly in the background overwhelmed me. I sat on the long sofa and the vibrations were like a golden bath washing away the darkness. I thought: This energy is what is missing in the world today. There is a gap. Who is continuing this work? And then I thought, suddenly: This work is being continued by many, only it is being suppressed.
|From The Atlantic: Neuschwanstein Castle is now a world-famous tourist
attraction. Criticized by many as wasteful and extravagant at the time
of their construction (despite the King using his own money, not state
funds), Ludwig's castles have paid for themselves many times over in the
years since his death. Photo taken on May 9, 2011. |
The physical manifestation of Divine Thought frightens those on Earth who cannot absorb the vibrations, and those dark creatures will do everything they can to suppress it. I wondered aloud about the reason for this, and a young woman told me, "Nothing is more powerful than Love. The powerful on earth lose their power in the face of Love and so they try to destroy it."
Richard Wagner's music also had a profound impact on Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949), which he expressed through stage design, fabrics and costumes. To mark the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth, the Fortuny Museum presents Fortuny and Wagner - Wagnerism in the visual arts in Italy, which opened yesterday, December 8, 2012 and will run through April 8, 2013, and focuses on the visual arts in Italy from the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century.
December 8, 2012 also happened to be the 32nd anniversary of the day that John Lennon was assassinated. It is also the day that the protagonist of my novels, Harley Columba, was born.
"One supreme fact which I have discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy-imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality." Richard Wagner
|Mariano Fortuny-self portrait|
“I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; - I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; - I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men; - I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her; - I believe that through Art all men are saved.” Richard Wagner
"Bill Viola. Isolde's Ascension.
(The Shape of Light in the Space After Death).
Ah, ha! Here was one of the missing links! I thought. Bill Viola! I had forgotten all about Bill Viola, who is my favorite contemporary artist. I never expected to see a video of his in a Fortuny and Wagner exhibition, but that is exactly where Isolde's Ascension belonged. I was the only one in the tiny theater that seated four.
By the time that Isolde had burst from the water and ascended to the heavens, I was weeping all over again. I had had a conversation with Bill Viola during the 2007 Art Biennale. Many people were clamoring for his attention, and were shuffling him here and there. I said, "Have you read Carl Jung's Seven Sermons to the Dead?" Bill Viola said, "No, but I've read Man and His Symbols." I said, "You should read the Seven Sermons to the Dead. It's different." Bill Viola stopped short and shook off his entourage. "Get me a pen. Get me some paper. I must write this down." And he did.
—Man is a portal through which one enters from the outer world of the gods, demons and souls, into the inner world, from the greater world into the smaller world. Small and insignificant is man; one leaves him soon behind, and thus one enters once more into infinite space, into the microcosm, into the inner eternity. From The Seven Sermons to the Dead by C.J. Jung, 1916
|Help restore the Fortuny model of the Bayreuth Theater at the Venice Fondation|
The Fortuny and Wagner exhibition is curated by Paolo Bolpagni and installed by Daniela Ferrettio, and made possible thanks to the collaboration of the City of Lipsia, Klinger Forum, the Richard Wagner Verband Leipzig, and the Associazione Richard Wagner Venezia.
Fortuny and Wagner
Wagnerism in the Italian visual arts
December 8, 2012 to April 8, 2013
San Marco 3780
San Beneto, Venice
Daily from 10AM to 6PM
Closed Tuesdays, Christmas and Jan. 1
Full price admission: 10 euro
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog