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Stairs_Hotel_Potocki

Stairs

How are you feeling today? Feeling fit?

I hope so because today we’re going to run through a lot of… Stairs!

Staircases have a symbolic impact like few other things in great homes in which they had uncommon importance over the centuries.

The grand entrance staircase was the mirror of a family’s power and meant to be as impressive as possible.

They were meant to put visitors in immediate awe and express the home’s grandeur instantly.

And, of course, stairs have always been an archetype of elevation and spiritual growth.

The word Graal comes from ancient Latin “gradual,” meaning “step.”

There are countless representations of stairs as a symbol in art; from Jacob’s ladder to the many representations of the Madonna of the Stairs, such as by Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, and Correggio.

But let’s get back to our amazing staircases.

As we always like to do, we’ll take a look at all kinds of eras and styles.

The first is that of the fabulous Hotel Potocki, the current headquarters of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

One of the most elegant mansions of the 19th century, Hotel Potocki was inherited by Count Nicolas Potocki in 1878.

Over the years, it has played host to artists and writers the likes of Arthur Rubinstein, Jean Béraud and Guy de Maupassant, who rushed to take part in the elite social evenings put on by Countess Potocka, who was of Italian origins.

After the Count’s death, the hotel was put up for sale. The chamber of commerce bought it in 1923 and hired Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann to restore it.

Hotel Potocki’s facades and roofs and some of its interior decorations have been classified as historical monuments.

Some other noteworthy staircases from around the same historical period: the stairways at the Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann museum, and the Cernuschi museum of Asian art, all located in Paris.

Another particularly graceful staircase is the work of the Liberty era genius, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann .

We have the ancient staircases like those of the Palazzo Braschi in Rome, and, of course, contemporary ones such as that resembling the turbine of a transatlantic ship.

There are some staircases that have to be included, like that of the Louvre with a view of the pyramid or that of the Museum of Decorative Arts on Rue de Rivoli — 

As minimalist and abstract as much of the artwork found inside.

Back soon with another interesting Magazine article!