The Hall of Mirrors, or the Congo Room as it was also known, in the Palace of Brussels was commissioned by King Leopold II.
He died before the room could be completed; leaving the ceiling unfinished. Under the patronage of HM Queen Paola of Belgium the ceiling was finaly completed in 2002. The first addition to the Palace since Rodin's reliefs in the 19th Century, is the work of Flemish artist Jan Fabre.
Heaven of Delight, an homage to one of Fabre's greatest inspirations - the 15th century gothic fantasy artist Hieronymous Bosch who produced The Garden of Earthly Delights - is a mosaic made up entirely of beetles. It took four months for 29 of Fabre's assistants to glue the gleaming shells of 1.6m jewel scarabs to the ceiling and four years to prepare the installation, which is permanent.
The beetles are not just glued randomly but are based on a detailed design by Fabre. Birds' wings, giraffes' legs and salamanders' eyes can all be discerned in the creation, as can the letter 'P' for Queen Paola who succumbed to years of lobbying and gave Fabre carte blanche. The use of beetles is no coincidence but strongly connected to Belgium's controversial colonial history.
It has been hailed in Belgian art circles as one of the most important works of the new century.
Now playing: Beck - The Golden Age
Friday, 8 February 2008
Posted by HOBAC at 02:05