In particular I've always been really drawn to the beautiful jewel tones of lots of Medieval and Renaissance art. The dark reds, clear greens, rich blues and browns that are derived from a palette largely made from mineral pigments. I especially love the Northern Renaissance painters like Jan van Eyck, who seemed to have been able to make these colours glow even while embuing all of their works with the cool grey light of a Netherlandish winter.
Jan van Eyck's portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride, 1434.
So I was particularly excited to see the Apartment Therapy story about The Grammercy Park Hotel. The Grammercy Park Hotel recently reopened with a complete makeover inspired by this exact sort of colour palette, in this particular case based on the works of Raphael.
The 'Cowper Madonna' by Raphael, c1483-1520.
Oh my gah, I'm in love with these interiors! Weirdly such intensity of colour almost looks modern to me. Maybe because we've become so used to the ultra moderne white box by now, that to see such rich and vibrant colour handled so skillfully looks kind of new. Instead of very, very old like the inspiration it comes from.
It may be a bit much to have an entire house done in such a scheme, but I think it works beautifully for somewhere where a bit of drama is called for. Like a hotel, a nightclub, or in a home perhaps a dining room! Could you imagine a candelight dinner in a room such as these?