Monday, June 9, 2008

Las Casas de Neruda

Well, it's Monday again. Ugh. The weekends are way too short. Remember those crocheted butterflies? Well, I made one. I used this beautiful kettle-dyed merino wool, because it has tropical colors that reminded me of Costa Rica:

Once I made my butterfly I sewed him onto cream colored linen and then made a pillow which I am going to give to my dad for Father's Day.

So that was my weekend craftiness.

When I was in Chile, I regret to say that I didn't have a digital camera with me, and so the pictures I took were parsimonious and crappy. And inevitably, the roll that had the coolest shots got exposed. Anyways, one of the things that made the biggest impact on me was Pablo Neruda's houses. He had the three most beautiful houses in Chile:
La Casa en el Aire in Isla Negra
La Sebastiana in Valparaiso
La Chascona in Santiago.
There are few pictures of these houses, especially the interiors because photography isn't allowed. But these houses are AMAZING. So I, yes little ol' me, SCOURED Flikr to bring you the below images, so that you too may know the magic of Neruda's homes.
First: La Chascona

La Chascona means the wild-haired one. This house is named after Matilde, his wife, who had curly red hair.

Notice the mural made from river rocks on the wall there. These pebble murals are a recurring theme in the houses.

So many details. Check out the colored glass bottles in the window. If I had to say, I would guess this was Neruda's favorite decorative touch: colored glass. Awesome tree trunk columns, and check out that white and yellow modern lamp.

Every house has a very distinctive bar. Neruda would always use colored stemware.

Dining area.

Bedroom. The fireplace bears his and Matilde's "seal," a P and an M. This insigna can be found in many places around his Santiago home.

Outside La Chascona, this poem is carved into a memorial.

La Sebastiana:

AMAZING VIEWS of all of Valparaiso. Again: colored stemware.

Neruda LOVED the sea. Many of his homes have overt nautical elements, such as portholes, curved wooden roofs, and Isla Negra - well, that house is as close as an expression of love for the sea as a house can be.

Entry. This house has many teeny narrow hallways, nooks, secret spaces, and steep staircases.

Bathroom. I think the story goes that at the time Neruda was building this home, these were the only colors and only tile that a person could get. So Neruda combined all the colors for a unique look.

Neruda was such a traveler and such a collector. His furniture and china came from all over the world. I think that carousel horse came from Paris, but I could be wrong.

Yet another example of Neruda's obsessive collecting. This is a Kuri-kuri bird (or something) from Brazil (or somewhere in S.A.). He lugged it home, and had the glass bubble custom created to display it.

That pink door with the cutouts is the bathroom door!

This stove was custom designed by Neruda.

Neruda loved stained glass.

Casa en el Aire:

This home is unabashedly nautical and contains most of Neruda's copious collections. He collected figurines, bottles, shells, many many things.

Another item he collected: ship figureheads. :)

Yet another bar, love the stamped tin.

The view from the bedroom. Look at that. Look at those huge windows.

Photos of Neruda in his homes:

I am SO THANKFUL to all the people who took these amazing images, and apologize for the lack of credits at this time. I will try to post them when I get a chance but there were just so many that I got overwhelmed. If you see your photo, let me know, and I will give you props.

*update* Here are the credits:
La Chascona:
kunstmann ~un attimo di pace~edmundyeo~ariel1676~javier ortega figueiral~maria e~beside my window~brum220chile
La Sebastiana:
benkard~cakodicia~eduardo andres~beatriz~zdswick~jane k mcgregor
Isla Negra:
bracani antonio~betta design~natelis~dead baseline~el brujo~teresa reyes~patricia runquet~cristiano estrela~undfeephonix~art pill~paxii rocker


Elzbieta said...

Dearest' Thank you for showing us these amazing pictures.How fortunate to have 3 houses to display collected things. I DO COLLECT tings too.

Shivali said...

Thank you for sharing these amazing photos. When we toured La Chascona recently, the guide would not allow photos inside the house so thank you for allowing us to reminisce on this wonderful tour of this wonderful home of this inspirational man. Question: do you have any photos of the library in La Chascona? or photos of the photo of Picasso and Neruda embracing? or of any of the artwork. I wish there had been more time to really study the art work or the library, but we were rushed through the house a bit during the tour- understandable of course, but left something to be desired for the die hard Neruda fan. Thank you, S. Shah