“The cover was designed in 1896 for the special Christmas number of the magazine. As in many examples of Mucha’s designs for magazine covers, this composition is rich with symbolism. Although we don’t have Mucha’s own writing about the interpretation of this particular design, we can read the idea behind this cover. as follows.
As indicated by the title of this number ‘1896-Noel-1897’, the magazine marks the turn of the year - the passing of the old year and its renewal. The pale figure of the dead (or dying) woman in the foreground seems to symbolise the passing year, while the winged figure is wrapping her body in a shroud. The silhouetted flower held by the passing woman is thistle, which often symbolises Sin and earthly suffering. However, the hope for renewal and redemption is indicated by the image of the silhouetted church building in the background (considering the occasion, probably the Church of Nativity) as well as the band of decorative motifs on the left, consisting of three pairs of hands and snowed branches of Christmas tree. In the Christian context, pairs of hands often allude to spiritual power or the conduits to convey spiritual energy, while Christmas trees represent vitality or life force. Whist these motifs were inspired by the Christian tradition, the idea of ‘mechanical’ hands with cogs is totally unique. By this, probably Mucha expressed the power of the mysterious God who governs time and the harmonious working of Nature.” - Mucha Foundation
Reading nooks with views of the hip Shimokitazawa neighbourhood in Tokyo, Japan
A quick hop from Shibuya and Shinjuku, Shimokitazawa is a nice change of pace from the craziness of the big city. We stumbled upon this little shop selling books and curiosities with seating areas where one can take in the scene over a cuppa, and feel safe about burying one’s face in a book and being lost in thoughts.
My sister’s terrarium garden is one of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen.
Photos by Heidi.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Hayao Miyazaki during the making of The Wind Rises
It is getting colder. I am excited for autumn to come.
All my pressed goodies. I have plans for them. (Marigolds, morning glory, carrot, peppermint, impatients, red and white clover, broad leaf plantain, oregano, and thyme.)