I once spent a short week in Budapest, Hungary. My, what a wonderful city! Walking through the streets (or sailing down the River Danube) one can see that the city was, indeed, once the crown jewel of Europe—and important (at different times) to the Romans, the Ottomans, the Holy Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (who made it their capital). Architecturally, she hit her peak in the Nineteenth Century and kept going right through the Art Nouveau period. When the Soviets took-over (1948 - 1989), the building largely stopped—though, perversely, this lack of "modernizing" may have helped to preserve the wonderful, older architecture.
Amongst Budapest's many wonders is the Kerepesi Cemetery. Opened in 1847, it is loaded with theatrical, late-Nineteenth Century statuary and monuments. Often heroic, sometimes ghoulish—and always dramatic—the funerary sculpture represents the height of Victorian expression. The grounds are ever so slightly over-grown, just enough to add to the atmosphere of decay. The cemetery is certainly worth a three or four hour visit on a nice, sunny day.
These bookends, modeled by Hungarian sculptor Julio Kilenyi, are much in-keeping with the aesthetic of the cemetery. They typify the spirit of the early Twentieth Century—a time of growth, building and progress. Civic efforts and commercial enterprise where often "personified" with heroic human form. Thus, "The Builder," shown on these bookends, represents the collective efforts of The Nation—pushing forward to build great cities, a great society and a great country.
These are but one pair of many bookends now in-stock at LEO Design.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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