2.22.2007

Yes, needlepoint can be sexy!

If you've been reading this blog for a little while, it's probably pretty clear to you that I am a huge Anthropologie fan. Still, I have the unfortunate tendency to get a bit jaded. Especially now that a store has opened 2 blocks away from my apartment, which I pass twice a day on my way to/from the train. However, this does not mean I lack the capacity to appreciate it (hell, worship it) when something truly spectacular appears on the floor.

My most recent visit on Monday evening revealed this footrest, tucked somewhat incongruously at the foot of a bed:


It's huge. And it's needlepoint! This was like the holy grail of finds.
I stopped and stared for awhile. What first caught my eye was the top part, which is an interpretation of Ingres' Grande Odalisque:


I love this painting by the way, and the way that Ingres was playing with deformity in order to achieve the ultimate sinuous line.

I then walked around to the side, and gaped as I recognized this painting:


A postcard of this image happens to be hanging on my bulletin board right now. It's Fragonard's Young Girl Reading.
The other two sides are landscapes, which I found less easy to identify...the front-facing one looks Gainsborough-ish in execution but it's really difficult to say as landscape is not my forte.

Now, let me give you some background into just why I am so off-the-charts excited about finding this.
I recently flipped out when Shelterrific posted about this recent fleamarket find:

I loved the tongue-in-cheekness of it. The irony is that needlepoint has long been considered a "low" art and been pushed under the umbrella of the once-dirty word, "craft" (helping to smooth over this thorny language issue are shows such as Needle Art: A Postmodern Sewing Circle which was at the DePaul University Art Museum and Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design). Melding it with high art (in this case, its a creative interpretation of Diego Velasquez's famous Rokeby Venus which is now in the National Gallery, London) is pure genius. In my humble opinion.
I searched madly on ebay for my very own interpretation. Secrely, I imagined finding an exact copy of the same piece, like magic. I just love the contrasting blues and yellows and the ironic undertones of the piece. I too desire the heady combination of high and low. And as aesthetic objects, I simply find both of these pieces to be quite beautiful.

My finding of the footrest was serendipitous, to say the least. I mean, just look at the top part! Another reclining nude with her back to the viewer. Seemed too good to be true.

My high lasted until I discovered the price tag several feet away, trampled by the muddy feet of some previous customer. It was $1300.

I like to think that they shared my disgruntlement with that seriously painful price. Humor me, ok?

And excuse the horrible muddy photos, which were snapped surreptitiously with my camera phone - I always feel weird taking pictures in stores. The colors are really much more brilliant.

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