Volltext: Alte und Moderne Kunst XXVI (1981 / Heft 177)

nd on the relatively full descriptions left us by 
zritic Ludwig Hevesi to supply many of the 
ing details. 
si in fast described the room twice: in an ar- 
of November 1905, and again in 1909. On the 
er occasion, he noted that the upper walls 
still waiting for their panels, and surmised 
hese would probably be "gewebte, vielleicht, 
gestickte". He also refers, confusingly, to the 
ect matter being taken from Maeterlinck's 
wrincesses?" However, we should not blame 
si too much ior failing to describe accurately 
he had been unable to see, and in his 1909 
e, he not only corrects himself regarding the 
1er of princesses, but also provides much 
information about the dating cf the frieze, 
ig that it had arrived "erst vor zwei Jahren", 
ibout its technique, describing it rather preci- 
as "ein Fries aus 'Gesso', wie die Engländer 
- Art Hartgipsmischung nennenW" More ac- 
ely, the panels should perhaps be described 
iesso and mixed media", since HevesVs ac- 
t makes clear that fragments of mother-of- 
and semi-precious stones proiected from the 
er surface. (Malberg also noted the "plastic" 
t of the coloured stones which adorned the 
sof the maidens in the frieze - a SUQQGSÜOH 
ee-dimensionality which she dismissed scorn- 
as "der Höhepunkt der SchmockereiW)" 
gh no contemporary writer made the oonnec- 
the eftect of these Maeterlinck panels must 
recalled vividly that produced by Klimt's 
iically very similar Beethoven Frieze of 1902 
;elf, as I have suggested elsewhere, almost 
inly a response to the two gesso panels The 
Queen (by Margaret) and The Wassail (by 
les) which the Mackintoshes had displayed 
g each other at opposite ends of the Scottish 
at the eighth Secession exhibition (fig. 11, 
Hevesi also described the subject matter of 
'ieze in terms that suggest that Margaret had 
red rather closely to the admittedly simple 
atraightiorward story of Maeterlinck's one-act 
"Materlinck-Szene. Sieben Prinzessinnen, 
en Prinzen erwarten. Der kommt und findet 
raut tot. Über die Tote gebeugt, weinen sie al- 
er Prinz und die sechs Prinzessinnen. Mär- 
haft weinen sie, in einer unbestimmt grauli- 
Harmonie, einer mausgrau-lahlweißlich 
iimmenden, durcheinanderspielenden Tonfol- 
Und die trauernden Gestalten neigen sich, 
iohr im Winde, und ihre Linien haften in stiliw 
her Starre wie applikiert. Und spinnen sich or- 
antal aus, in jenen weitgeschwungenen Kur- 
ind straff gezogenen Drähten  wahrhaftig, 
nern Drahtstil, im Stil einer elektrotechni- 
n Welt, die kreuz und quer von Drähten umv 
nen und durchzogen ist. Stromleitungen für 
weiß was, auf Draht gezogene Allwissenheit, 
acht, Allgegenwart?" 
a is every reason to suppose this later des 
tion by Hevesi to be accurate in all important 
zcts. lt is, moreover, borne out by the few 
ving fragments cf visual evidence. The Mae- 
lCk frieze itselt, like all the other furnishings 
ittings from the music room, is lost, presuma- 
estroyed; but a photograph in Glasgow Uni- 
ty collection (fig. 13) shows three of the gesso 
ls, without frames, which together appear to 
:t one, self-contained episode." Their subiect 
e prince, his dead princess, and the mourning 
es of the six other princesses - corresponds 
sely to Hevesi's description. Since, to judge 
weir proportions, these panels would have 
1 exactly into the available spaces, either 
e the fireplace or above the piano, there can 
ttle doubt that this photograph records the 
earance of one section cf the frieze, corre- 
iding to one long wall of the room. 
The appearance of the remaining walls is, how- 
ever, more diificult to reconstruct. Both Howarth 
and Billclifle believe there were a total of twelve 
panels, Howarth specifying that six were by Mack- 
intosh and six by Margaret." However, an exami- 
nation of the surviving photographs of the interior 
makes it seem unlikely that the frieze continued 
uninterrupted around all four walls of the room. 
Fig. 7 shows that the open-work screen, in the 
form of an inverted heart, which framed the win- 
dow seats penetrated into the space above the 
picture rail, which is in any case open in the direc- 


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